Forest education and Training

Organization: University of Lleida (UDL) and Centre Forestier PACA

Rapporteurs:

Ms. Rosario Fanlo (UDL)

Ms. Cristina Vega-Garcia (UDL)

Facilitators:

Mr. Ignacio Romagosa (CIHEAM)

Mr. Christian Salvignol (Centre Forestier PACA)

Background

Forest ecosystems in the triangle that links Mediterranean Europe with North Africa and the Middle East provide multiple goods and services that are crucial to the socioeconomic development of the Mediterranean rural areas and the welfare of its urban populations. Advancing education and vocational training programmes, scientific knowledge through research and fostering innovation is essential to ensure the sustainable management of Mediterranean forests and to build a knowledge- based green economy in the region (http://era-platform.eu/era-nets/foresterra/).

Sharing knowledge and innovation at all levels of education and strengthened capacity building between institutions should be a major goal in Mediterranean countries, as well as the advancement of the educational paradigm from teaching to learning with a clear focus in improving employability. Biofuels, climate change, social change, new economic models or new information technologies are just some examples of change factors affecting the forestry sector and labour markets that hence should be impacting all educational levels. Changes in roles and methods are required for problem- oriented, transfer-oriented, research-oriented, inter- and trans-disciplinary learning that must involve the consideration of gender, diversity and intercultural competences. A shift in focus for employability to guide curricula and new educational projects is also needed, from mere counts of graduates finding a job within a certain period of time, to the definition of a package of learning outcomes/skills/competences and attitudes that meet requirements of forestry labour markets and avoid work-education mismatch.

The generation and transfer of new knowledge in forest science and practice and the development of scientific research in the Mediterranean region are currently barred by its fragmentation, its limited means, and occasional outdating and isolation. The low benefits that Mediterranean forests provide (low yield) to the not-abundant forest-based industries makes difficult to attract private or public funds for research. Novel ways to overcome this situation must be implemented through research partnerships, networking, capacity building, higher education programs, knowledge transfer and lifelong learning (http://news.efi.int/newsletter/view/efimed-october-2009/180). The new EU Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020) can provide opportunities for cooperation to overcome some of these adverse conditions.

Objectives

The session consists of two sections, whose objectives are as follows:

Section 1: A strategic view on forestry education and training systems as providers of skills for the labour market and the green economy

  • Objective 1: Promote employment in the forestry sector, particularly - but not only - among young people, through raised knowledge, skills and competences within well-performing E&T Mediterranean- focused systems.

Section 2: Current challenges in Mediterranean forestry education and training: the gap between what is learnt and Society expectations. 

  • Objective 2: To explore opportunities for joint actions/projects in FE&T: for example, in learning mobility, cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Strategic partnership, Knowledge Alliances, Sector Skills Alliances, Capacity building in Erasmus+).

Methodology

The Session is organized in three conferences and short communications (5 slides/5 min) followed by 5 min of questions/comments plus a final round table for debate and a conclusions bullet report.

Target audience

Academics, teachers, students, researchers, professionals, students associations, professional associations, LLL institutions. 

Contact 

Ms. Rosario Fanlo (UDL) fanlo@pvcf.udl.es 

Ms. Cristina Vega-Garcia (UDL) cvega@eagrof.udl.es 

Mr. Christian Salvignol (Centre Forestier PACA) Salvignol@centre-forestier.org 

English

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