2024 Annual Conference

SILVA Network Annual Conference 2024

Topic: Changing expectations of society and policy for higher forestry education

April 16-18, 2024 in Kaunas (Lithuania)

Read more: Program


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Topic of the Conference: Changing expectations of society and policy for higher forestry education

Forestry is becoming increasingly complex as a result of the requirement to balance numerous stakeholder interests. Forestry is challenged by issues such as climate change, carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, rural development, and adaptive ecosystem management. In the course of the energy transition, forests are seen as an important source of bioenergy. On our way towards more bioeconomy, forests shall sufficiently supply us with raw material. Forest products and services satisfy a wide range of ecological, social and economic needs and address a variety of interests, people and organizations. The number of forestry stakeholders is continually growing, spanning territorial, social, economic, and political borders. Nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this, social expectations and values have changed considerably in recent years. Forestry has partly lost its social license to operate and its position in land use consultation, due to its bad name as wood cutter and its introvert attitude. The question arises, how forestry can regain acceptance. Forestry education should provide the equipment and the attitude to engage in this challenge.

Forestry education has a long history and has changed considerably: Having focused on forest management in the past, it now emphasizes the management of natural resources for valuable connections between humans and ecosystems. How can forestry education help to address contemporary forestry practice challenges? How should present and expected future societal needs be incorporated into forestry education and its curricula? To transform forestry education, efforts must be made to coordinate and connect relevant institutions and stakeholders. A collaborative effort from all stakeholders appears to be the way ahead in changing the existing forestry education model to accommodate new courses and skills that will better train future foresters.

Contributions covered topics such as:

  • The current problems and coping techniques in higher forestry education.
  • The actual and expected role which forestry education plays in society today and in future.
  • Surveys of higher forestry education forest curricula to meet stakeholder demands.
  • Expectations for higher forestry education from forest policy and practice.
  • Changes in higher forestry curricula, teaching and learning experiences, tools, and strategies for meeting societal needs.
  • Development of a higher forestry education curricula in the context of societal demands and global issues.
  • Competencies in higher forestry curricula to integrate and disseminate knowledge across discipline boundaries.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation as major concerns in higher education forestry courses.
  • Various organizations' perspectives on higher forestry education.




Host & Venue

2024 SilvaConference University VM

Host: Faculty of Forest Science and Ecology, Agriculture Academy, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania. 

Address: Universiteto 8A, Academia, Kaunas r. Lithuania.

Link to the University: https://zua.vdu.lt/en/

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Impressions of the Conference

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Welcome Address by Prof. Dr. Vitas Marozas (Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania)

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Conference Opening by Prof. Dr. Norbert Weber (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)

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Workshop on "Emerging hot topics in higher forest education", led by Sandra Liebal (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)


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World Café: SILVA Network Tasks

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World Café: SILVA Proceedings

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World Café: SILVA Network Visions


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Excursion into the Čepkeliai State Strict Reserve

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Excursion into the Čepkeliai State Strict Reserve

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Excursion into the Čepkeliai State Strict Reserve: visiting the installed rhizotrons


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