TU Dresden - Tropical Forestry Blog

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021

The Chair of Tropical and International Forestry wishes you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2021

We extend our appreciation to our colleagues and partners for the creativity and resilience in this unprecedented year of 2020. We are also proud of our current master students for their endurance – we wish them holistic health and much energy! We’ll get through the pandemic.
Chair of Tropical and International Forestry (©G.Huidobro)

Trip to Municipal Forest Enterprise of Zittau

Students.during.the.trip.to.Municipal.Forest Enterprise.of.Zittau.©S.Poudel

We were fortunate enough to have an outdoor field trip in these strange and trying times. Well, obviously, things were not normal this time around. We had to be concerned not only about previsit preparation and the trip itself, but also about the COVID19 hygienic concept and regulations. Thus, considering all the necessary measures, we began our educational and memorable trip to municipal forest enterprise of Zittau.

We all met each other at the meeting point, Dresden HBF, on day 1 of the tour. It was apparent that all of us were excited for the journey that awaits us.  We got even more excited to be on the steam train bypassing stunning landscapes beside us.  More so, it was autumn, the best time of the year; the whole forest was golden and dreamy, it felt crisp and surreal! We walked through the dreamy forest, followed by orientation from Dr. Auch about the forest functions and its eco-tourism aspects, up to our residence where we would be staying for the next few days. Upon arrival in our hostel, we relaxed a bit and then we prepared questions per strategy group for the planned meeting with Master Forest Officer (MFO) of Zittau forest enterprise, Mrs. Bültemeier, which was scheduled to be the day after. We were divided into three groups: Biodiversity conservation, Timber production, and Eco-tourism depending on our interests.

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Tanzania National Scenario Workshop within the WoodCluster Project

A scenario workshop involving national-level stakeholders is a vital research activity within the WoodCluster project that tackles the decision-making level. In this unprecedented year of 2020, we are happy that this activity has been successfully implemented. On November 27th 2020, our project partner in Tanzania, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), conducted the National Scenario Workshop in a hybrid way. This workshop was supposed to take place in March 2020, but had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Unlike in Germany that currently undergoes another lockdown due to the pandemic, there are no such restrictions in Tanzania. Around 30 participants in Tanzania attended the workshop at the SUA campus in Morogoro, while seven other project team members outside of Tanzania attended online.

Workshop participants in Tanzania (©N. Kakunya)
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Welcoming the new head of Chair of Tropical and International Forestry: A Q&A session with Prof. Lukas Giessen

In October this year, we had the transition from Prof. Jürgen Pretzsch to Prof. Lukas Giessen. As the new head of the institute, we asked Prof. Lukas Giessen a few questions to learn more about him and the new perspectives for the institute. We started by asking him to tell us what he did before he joined the institute in Tharandt. 


Lukas Giessen was born in Wiesbaden, in the area of Frankfurt am Main. After finishing high school, he was not sure what to study, but he decided to choose an area in which the majority of sciences were represented. So, he went for “Forest Engineering” in Göttingen, where he was acquainted with various disciplines from physics, wood technology to governance, among others. Afterwards, he pursued his master’s degree in Sustainable Forestry and Land Use Management at the University of Freiburg and a Ph.D. in Forest Policy in Göttingen University.

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Webinar about GIS and how it is used in natural resource management

As part of the training course on ”Project Monitoring and Reporting: Introduction to Geographic Methods using Open-Source Software”, BluoVerda e.V and Weltweit e.V together with the institute of International Forestry and Forest Products, are offering a Webinar on Geographic Information Systems and its practical applications for sustainable resource management . Here researchers and practitioners will present how they are using GIS in innovative ways to foster sustainability in natural resource management.

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WoodCluster and PhytoWood Projects under COVID-19: Challenged to be flexible and focused

Interacting with local stakeholders in WoodCluster Field School in Ethiopia 2019 – which cannot take place in the pandemic (©WoodCluster)

Uncertainty is what most people probably feel currently in their private and professional life worldwide. It also characterizes our current work in the WoodCluster and PhytoWood-Synergies projects. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the project flow from one day to the other. After being still confident to postpone activities for a few weeks or a few months earlier this year, it became clear that most activities on the ground in 2020 had to be cancelled. These included research fieldwork from PhD candidates and MSc students, workshops with local stakeholders as well as educational excursions with students.

Bringing people together from different countries and gathering local stakeholders for group discussion are some of our core activities. These cannot be conducted in the near future as borders are partially closed, international flights reduced, and infection risk during travels prevailing. Official restrictions and reservations of the local people in the partner countries need to be respected as well.

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