Call for DAAD Scholarship Applications for Admission 2022

Batch2020-2022©C.Ross

You  are invited to attend the 2022 MSc Course in TROPICAL FORESTRY. The course is taught in English at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), one of the 11 German Universities of Excellence.

Over many decades, the international orientation and socio-economic focus have made this 2-year MSc course unique in Europe. You will benefit from the international background of our research and lecturing scientists who supervise your field research in the tropics. In addition socio-economic and general aspects of tropical forestry, the course also includes specific topics of climate change related carbon forestry, agroforestry and land use change. Another plus: As public university TUD exempts students from tuition fees!

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An alumnus, Vianny, as a speaker at GLF Africa 2021

One of our DAAD scholar graduates (batch 2015-2017), Vianny Ahimbisibwe, had recently been a speaker at the Global Landscapes Forum Africa 2021 in a session titled “Know how needed for successful forest landscape restoration in Africa”. Working as a research scientist at the Thünen Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics, while pursuing his doctoral degree at the TU Munich, Vianny talked about “Forest Landscape Restoration: What Generates Failure and Success?”. His presentation was based on his recent research with colleagues, published in the journal Forests.

The session discussed about fundamental practices and skills required by various stakeholders to support FLR efforts, particularly in Africa. The other speakers in the session were represented by University of Geneva, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, WWF Madagascar, and Michigan State University. For more information about the session, kindly click this link.

Adventure in Tanzania: Fieldwork amid the pandemic

Mambo (what’s up in Swahili)! I’m Kendisha, a doctoral student from Indonesia under the WoodCluster project. This year, amid the pandemic, I was finally able to undertake fieldwork in Tanzania, from March 8th (which is women’s day) until June 5th (environment day). My topic is about the potential role of forest farmers’ organizations in linking smallholder tree growers to a more structured market in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia and Tanzania). During the fieldwork, I basically replicated the methods I conducted in my first fieldwork in southern Ethiopia in 2019, with – naturally – adjustments to the local conditions.

Conducting a focus group discussion with smallholder tree growers (©S. Chidodo)
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Bike Excursion Day 5 – Analyzing the Landscape while cycling to Polish Forests

On the fifth and last day of our Bike Excursion, two activities were carried out: An unprecedented “Landscape Transect Analysis Through Observation” took place in the morning and, in the afternoon, we visited different stands of the State forestry in Poland.

Pine Forests dominated on the last day of the excursion

On the 2nd of July 2021, we were allowed to wake up later. At seven o’clock in the morning, we gathered in the Cafeteria to have our last breakfast. According to plan we had to leave the Brüderhaus Martinshof Rothenburg Diakoniewerk at eight, but unsurprisingly we left to our destination with 20 min delay. At 08:20h we started the first bike journey to the second point of the excursion. Before leaving, the supervisors divided the students into 4 groups and introduced them to the landscape transect analysis exercise. The groups consisted of approximately 4-5 students. Group 1 had the task to observe infrastructure construction within the landscape. The second group was responsible for assessing the land use/economy across the landscape. Group 3 focussed on assessing the biodiversity and Group 4 governance aspects. While riding, the student groups discussed aspects related to the transect analysis exercise. After a 20km ride along the German-Polish border, we reached Przewóz (Poland), where we were expected for lunch. Before having lunch, however, each group presented its insights regarding each aspect analysed. This exercise fulfilled its objective of training our eyes and minds to critically analyze natural and human-made elements of a landscape.

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Bike Excursion Day 4 – Another day of cycling packed with more learning about forests, biodiversity and water fun!

The fourth day of our excursion began with a breakfast full of delicious dishes at 7 AM, followed by an instructive presentation of the forestry authority of Görlitz County. To begin with, they presented basic information about the county, which has 2106 km² and 261 000 residents (124 persons/km²). Afterwards, they gave us an overview of the tasks of the Forestry Authority, which consists mainly in monitoring and conserving the forest, and preventing forest fires. An interesting fact is that the county is covered by 37% of forests, in comparison with 28% in Saxony and 31% in Germany. After this introduction to the tasks of a public forest administration, we saddled up to the public forest and biked for 11 km.

The local foresters and their dog joined us on the bikes
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Bike Excursion Day 3 – A sawmill, a castle and a island of culture

The third day of the bike excursion started at 6.30. We woke up and had our breakfast buffet ready. The breakfast team did well with their jobs, we had a fresh breakfast and had several food options for filling up our lunchbox. We were all excited about our 50km journey coming up, although it was slightly raining in the morning.

Cycling through agricultural fields …
… and pine plantations

Our first destination of the day was the Schweighofer sawmill plant in Kodersdorf, Saxony, which belongs to the HS Timber Group. HS Timber Group is a strong company with different production sites in Germany and Romania. The mill in Kodersdorf was added into the group in 2015, employs more than 400 people. We witnessed the active vibes of this working place, where around 150 trucks of timber come in every day. Their products are diverse, including veneer, blockboard, sawn and glued timber, concrete formwork panels, pellets, briquettes. They are exported to around 70 countries across the world. The main timber inputs of this mill are spruce and pine, which were debarking and processing by high technology machines. Labor safety and labor skills are under high priority concerns of the sawmill. However, the problem of bark beetles to spruce has affected directly the timber price, creating the risks of producing spruce timber products in the future.

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