With a growing population in a more and more globally connected world, targeted by complications such as climate change, it is getting increasingly important to work together and approach problems in a multidimensional way. In order to do this, it is important to have a broad understanding of the different points of view on forestry and forest governance between societies. Therefor it is important that we exchange knowledge and gain intercultural understanding in order to improve Forest governance capacities and practices.
In 2000 a few students of the local committee of the International Forestry Student Association in Wageningen, had the idea to set up an exchange project with fellow forestry students from a totally different country. It was a new way to broaden their perspectives and a fascinating and direct way to exchange knowledge. They started the exchange-project with a visit to Macedonia. The years after they visited amongst others Slovenia and Argentina and welcomed foreign students in the Netherlands.
I am Eline, a 20 year old Forest and Nature conservation student from Wageningen, The Netherlands. Since 2013 I have been engaged in this project, organising trips to Germany and Poland, and I have set my goal on bringing the initiative to a higher level. I hope to inspire others to follow this example. There is no better way to deepen your understanding of cultural differences in Forestry and Nature conservation than to experience these differences yourself.
Learning from fellow forestry students about the forests in their country, makes you see things from a different point of view and look critically at the way we deal with forests in our own countries. During one of the UNFF youth discussions, our initiative came out as a good example of youth engagement in forestry education. We have already managed to inspire others, like the local committee in Warsaw, to further spread the initiative. Now it’s time for you to join!
Text and video are submitted by Eline Schothorst (The Netherlands) – eline.schothorst(at)wur.nl
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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