Right from the experts´ desk to the students – two webinars enriched the MSc Tropical Forestry

Keeping pace with the times, webinars are increasingly included into the curriculum of the MSc Course Tropical Forestry. This summer semester´s webinars took place in the context of the module “Natural and Plantation Silviculture in the Tropics”. Besides guest lectures this up-to-date teaching form is an excellent way for students to get access to voices of international forestry professionals and researchers and join ongoing debates. An opportunity, which was grasped by about 20 participants each time.

Dr. Rita from Brazil giving insights on Amazon forest management

Secondary Forests of the Amazon and Management Options was the topic of the first webinar in this semester held by Dr. Rita Mesquita from the Brazilian National Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA). Holding a PhD from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia, US, she draws her knowledge from more than twenty years of research in the Amazon on secondary forests, succession and restoration of degraded areas.
After setting the scene with an introduction on land use change in the Amazon and its effects on secondary forests, Dr. Rita Mesquita presented second-growth traits resulting from the collaborative research network 2ndFOR (which involves over 70 researches from 15 countries). Subsequently management options and corresponding experiments were discussed by the guest expert. The talk concluded with a part on climate change effects on secondary forests.

The second webinar on Community Based Management of Forest Resources in Nepal was presented by Prof. Santosh Rayamajhi from the Institute of Forestry of Tribhuvan University. Prof. Santosh studied zoology, forestry and natural resource management and obtained a PhD from the University of Copenhagen. Main areas of his research interest are biodiversity, conservation and environmental resource management.
Prof. Santosh’s presentation was split in two parts: (1) a general overview over forests and forestry in Nepal, including information on Community Forestry, significance of Nepal´s forestry sector and silvicultural systems; (2) a case study on Community Forest Timber Harvesting.

Prof. Santosh presenting community forest management in Nepal

A Q&A session followed each of the presentations and was vividly used by the audience using an integrated chat feature. Dr. Ritah Mesquita and Prof. Santosh seemed both happy to clarify and discuss in detail raised questions of interest related to a wide range of social, ecological and forestry specific aspects.

We want to thank the guest lecturers and all who helped, especially our new colleague Carolin Kost for technical support and the MSc student Carolle Alarcon Eichmann who set up the contact to the first lecturer.

If you, too, would like to join upcoming webinars, please feel free to indicate your interest to tropen@forst.tu-dresden.de to be put on the e-mail distribution list. Additionally, we are continuously searching for experts who like to contribute to the MSc curriculum insights from their recent work and research.  If you would like to offer a lecture yourself, you are warmly invited to contact the secretary via the above-mentioned email-address as well.

By Sophie Ackermann

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