Youth Speaker entry #46: Ira Sutherland (Canada)

My philosophy is that the more people understand about forests, the greater job we will do as a society stewarding them. My goal is to apply this philosophy using film, story-telling and scientific outreach to share my experience and evolving understanding of forests and their importance to human wellbeing. By using stories of adventure and striving to communicate my interest in an accessible and engaging way I have been successful at communicating to a wide audience across diverse cultures, age ranges and professional backgrounds.

Ira SutherlandThe types of experiences that have formed my understanding of forests include scientific research (BSc, MSc), long distance bicycle-powered trips to explore forests, and extensive explorations in the local forests where I grew up.

These explorations have both been alone and also while helping a local organization and local First Nations build trails into remote ancient forests that need preservation.

I am nearly done my MSc thesis, which tracks the long term recovery of multiple ecosystem services following logging. I’ve made an involved effort to communicate my thesis research and thus share understanding of the many values people have for forests. I may continue this work by undertaking a PHd in the future. However, my first priority after graduation is to finish writing a book I have started, called the Forest Cycle, which is about my greater life fascination with forests as well as my mission to explore forests in search of the world’s biggest trees.

I would be honoured to attend the World Forestry Congress where I would share my stories of exploration and provide practical advice on how other youth can communicate their own experiences and inspiration to engage diverse audiences in understanding the importance of forests.

More information on my research.
More information on my activities.

Text, photo and video are submitted by Ira Sutherland (Canada) – mountainira(at)

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as an application by the author, to speak as a youth representative at the World Forestry Congress. Have a look at the other entries too!

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment on this project in the field at the bottom of this page
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the two hashtags: #Forests2015 #Youth

The first tier selection of speakers will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each entry gets.

7 thoughts on “Youth Speaker entry #46: Ira Sutherland (Canada)

    • Merci Ecojournaliste. My own inspiration for this type of work comes from the incredible initiatives I see others undertake (such as the many video I see in this competition). I believe it’s a cyclical feedback process that as one person does good work, others catch on, and ultimately it leads to a greater good.


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