You are here: Home Prospective Students Elective Tracks International Forestry

International Forestry

 

“Forestry is not rocket science, it is much more complex than that” (F. Bunnell)

This is particularly true for the field of international forestry!

 

PL-InternForestry.jpg

The elective track International Forestry focuses on the international dimensions of forestry and offers competencies for graduates aiming to work in a range of fields to tackle the complex issues associated with the sustainable management of forests; it:

  • aims to provide students with a background in global processes, developments and policies that are relevant to forestry,
  • delivers an understanding of major forest ecosystems, forest management systems and paradigms of international importance, and
  • offers key competencies for the analysis and management of forestry systems.

This elective track comprises six 3-week block modules spread over two semesters. Students can further develop their academic profile by dedicating their internship and the MSc thesis to topics related to International Forestry.

Typically our students, who come from all over the world, bring a high diversity of cultural backgrounds, professional and academic experiences to the program. This facilitates mutual learning, which is strongly encouraged through the variety of teaching and learning methods employed.

Target Group: The International Forestry program is best suited to graduates of BSc programs in Forest sciences and closely related fields, who wish to work in an international context and also for international students from abroad who seek to expand their competencies and horizons for work in their home country.

Employment options for our graduates can be found in:

  • international organizations such as FAO, World Bank, etc.,
  • forestry and consultancy companies with an international focus,
  • governmental institutions and NGOs with a focus on forests in the context of sustainable development,
  • research organizations; owing to the emphasis on current issues in forestry and the research-based training of participants, many graduates of this MSc program have also moved on to do a PhD and became forest scientists in a wide range of forestry disciplines.

See here for testimonies and careers of International Forestry Alumni.

See here the Flyer of the elective track International Forestry.

Coordinators of the elective track

Benno Pokorny_2018

Prof. Dr. Benno Pokorny

 

Phone: +49 761 203-3680
benno.pokorny@waldbau.uni-freiburg.de

Dr. Sabine Reinecke

 

Room: 4020

Phone: +49 761 203-8606

 

All modules of this elective track are taught in English! See here for a detailled description of the curriculum.

First Semester (Winter)

Second Semester (Summer)

 

Module Descriptions

 

Forest Resources and their Goods and Services

ForestResourcesGoodsModule coordination

PD Dr. Hans-Peter Kahle

Additional Lecturers

Thomas Fillbrandt, Christopher Morhart, Martin Opferkuch, Heinrich Spiecker, Dominik Stangler, N.N.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures, tutorials, panel discussion, group works, excursions

Type of Examination

Presentation of case study, written exam (60 min)

Syllabus

This first module in the International Forestry Track will provide students with an overview of global forest resources and how forests are being used worldwide. The module aims at delivering an understanding of the role of forests and the relevance of forest management for the production of wood and the provision of other ecosystem services. Students will learn major forest biomes and their production potentials and gain insight into different forest management systems of international importance.

At the start of the module international forest statistics will be presented, analyzed and interpreted in the face of different ecological, economic and social contexts. A view on past changes and current trends in the extent, structure and productivity of the forest resources serves as the basis for the discussion of probable causes of these trends as well as of different forest management concepts on regional levels and worldwide. Synergies and trade-offs among and between productive and other ecosystem services and interactions between management options and the provision of ecosystem services will be discussed. In addition to wood production in forests, selected non-wood forest products as well as agro-forestry systems will be used as case studies.

Finally, the role of value-added chains of products and services from forests and the importance of sustainability assessments of the forestry wood-chain will be addressed. Discussions on the relevance of globalized wood markets and the importance of international trade flows for sustainable forest management will complement the module.

Learning goals and qualifications

Students

  • will acquire knowledge on the extent and structure of forest resources at regional, national and the global scale,
  • will gain an appreciation of the relevance of forests for the production of wood and the provision of other ecosystem services,
  • will be able to understand trends in the forest resources and their drivers in the present, past and future,
  • will gain an appreciation of the effect of management options on the provision of ecosystem services,
  • will gain an appreciation of the role of wood market globalization and international trade flows for sustainable forest management.

Classification of cognitive skills following Bloom (1956): 1 = Knowledge: recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers; 2 = Comprehension: understanding something; 3 = Application: using a general concept to solve problems in a particular situation; 4 = Analysis: breaking something down into its parts; 5 = Synthesis: creating something new by putting parts of different ideas together to make a whole; 6 = Evaluation: judging the value of material or methods.

Readings

  • Duncker, P.S., Raulund-Rasmussen, K., Gundersen, P., Katzensteiner, K., Jong, J. de, Ravn, H. P. et al. (2012): How forest management affects ecosystem services, including timber production and economic return: synergies and trade-offs. Ecology and Society 17 (4): 50
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2012): Forest Futures Methodology - FRA 2015. Rome. Forest Resources Assessment Working Paper, 182
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2016): State of the World's Forests 2016. Forests and agriculture: land-use challenges and opportunities. Rome
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005): Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Back to top

 


Plantation Forestry

PlantationForestModule coordination

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus

Additional Lecturers

Dr. Axel Albrecht, Dr. Stephan Hoffmann, Prof. Dr. Benno Pokorny, Dr. Steffen Entenmann, Prof. Dr. Dietrich Schmidt-Vogt.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures will provide an overview of basic silvicultural and growth and yield concepts and highlight the scientific basis for silvicultural practices in plantation forests. They also aim at putting the readings into perspective and link silvicultural, ecological, and quantitative analytical concepts. Lectures will be complemented with reading of a range of publications that will be discussed in class. Students will produce a learning journal to reflect on the content and discussions and to document their learning progress.

In the section ‚silvicultural operations research’ within the module ‘Plantation Forestry’ the students will learn how to analyze and judge the efficiency of certain silvicultural operations which aim at optimizing wood production and productivity of Norway spruce and Douglas fir plantations in Southwest Germany. The analyses to be performed are based on empirical permanent silvicultural experiments. Most importantly, the students will learn to select relevant variables for experimental design, field work and analysis.

Type of Examination

Assignment, written exam

Syllabus

Plantations are globally one of the most rapidly expanding types of forest land use. They provide a disproportionally and increasingly large share of the global industrial round wood demand. Intensifying wood production will be necessary to meet the increasing global demand for wood products. Concentrating this intensification in plantations may have many benefits like reduced harvesting pressure on native forests.

In this module, students learn basic objectives, strategies, concepts and management of plantation forestry. Students learn about options to optimize wood production in plantations by considering

  • ecological, legal and social frameworks of forest management,
  • harvesting strategies and transportation logistics.
  • the landscape context e.g. to optimize the effects of plantations on biodiversity,
  • selection of species including clones, soil preparation and fertilizing, planting,
  • silviculture, including thinning, pruning and mixed-species plantations,
  • stand management for pulp and sawn wood as a value-added product,
  • forest growth models as management tools,

The lectures will set the foundations to enable the students to develop management strategies for plantation estates. Students will employ a modelling tool to explore different plantation management options.

Learning goals and qualifications

Students

  • will be able to understand the dynamics of fast growing plantations and silvicultural approaches to manage them (1, 2),
  • will gain an appreciation for various management approaches and their implications for growth and yield and ecosystem functions and processes (2, 4),
  • can select appropriate variables and design experiments to analyze the effects of silvicultural operations on productivity (3, 4, 5)
  • can analyze and compare different plantation forestry concepts and judge differences in productivity and risk (2, 4)
  • can analyse and evaluate dimensions of sustainability in the context of plantation management (4,6)

Classification of cognitive skills following Bloom (1956):

1 = Knowledge: recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers; 2 = Comprehension: understanding something;
3 = Application: using a general concept to solve problems in a particular situation; 4 = Analysis: breaking something down into its parts; 5 = Synthesis: creating something new by putting parts of different ideas together to make a whole; 6 = Evaluation: judging the value of material or methods.

Readings

  • West, P. W. (2014). Growing Plantation Forests. Springer, Cham. E-book can be downloaded from the university library.
  • Cossalter, C. & Pye-Smith, C. (2003), Fast-wood forestry: myths and realities. Center for International Forestry Research. Bogor Barat, Indonesia
  • Evans, J. & Turnbull, J. W. (2004). Plantation forestry in the tropics: The role, silviculture, and use of planted forests for industrial, social, environmental, and agroforestry purposes (No. 3. ed.). Oxford University Press

Back to top

 


Carbon Forestry

CarbonForestModule coordination

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus, Dr. Steffen Entenmann

Additional Lecturers

Matthias Seebauer (UNIQUE), Moriz Vohrer (Forest Finest), PD. Dr. Till Pistorius (UNIQUE), Prof. Dr. Benno Pokorny  and other experts

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, field trips, group works, presentations

Type of Examination

Oral exam (15 min), written group assignment

Syllabus

The sequestration of carbon by forests and soils is one of the most important ecosystem services of terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, large efforts have been undertaken and major political initiatives started to facilitate the storage of C in forests and their products. Competencies are needed to develop projects for land- use based mitigation and knowledge of related climate policy instruments at national and international levels. Participants will learn to develop and evaluate such greenhouse mitigation projects. The module will provide an introduction to

  • recent developments in international climate change policy and their implications for land-based carbon and restoration initiatives;
  • compliance and voluntary carbon markets
  • carbon measuring and accounting in different land-use based activities aimed at sequestering carbon, including afforestation and reforestation (A/R), Improved Forest Management (IFM), Climate Smart Agriculture, Reducing Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+);
  • social and environmental safeguards in land-based carbon projects;
  • cash flows in carbon projects;
  • development, analysis and evaluation of carbon project design documents (PDDs);
  • rules and procedures for Gold Standard certification.

Remarks

Useful also for: M.Sc. Environmental Governance (MEG), MSc European Forestry (Erasmus Mundus), Umweltwissenschaften / Environmental Sciences, Renewable Energy Management (REM)

Maximum number of participants: 30

Learning goals and qualifications

At the end of this course, participants will be able to

  • analyze and design carbon forestry and related land use project documents (1, 2, 4);
  • determine emission reduction effects of such projects, using appropriate methods and tools (3, 4);
  • plan and undertake carbon measurements to monitor forestry and other land-use projects;
  • apply safeguards to reduce risks in such projects (3, 4);
  • critically evaluate climate change policies, including development perspectives of carbon forestry and emission reduction markets (5, 6);
  • plan financing mechanisms for forestry C projects (3).

Classification of cognitive skills following Bloom (1956):

1 = Knowledge: recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers; 2 = Comprehension: understanding something; 3 = Application: using a general concept to solve problems in a particular situation; 4 = Analysis: breaking something down into its parts; 5 = Synthesis: creating something new by putting parts of different ideas together to make a whole; 6 = Evaluation: judging the value of material or methods.

Readings and online resources

To be announced before the start of the course.

Back to top

 


Close-to-Nature Forest Management

Close to NatureModule coordination

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus, PD Dr. Hans-Peter Kahle

Additional Lecturers

Dr. Christopher Morhart, Dr. Patrick Pyttel, Dr. Julia Sohn

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, group work, field courses, excursions

Type of Examination

Exam, written report

Syllabus

Close-to-nature-forest-management (CTNFM) is widely held as an approach that optimizes multiple forest functions at small spatial scales and is therefore gaining increasing attention around the world. Here we review the main principles of this approach, discuss their merits and disadvantages and analyze under what conditions these may be applied in forest management. The main principles of CTNFM discussed in this module comprise the use of site adapted tree species, development of mixed and uneven-aged, structurally diverse forests, avoidance of clear-felling, focus on stand stability, reliance on natural processes and focusing on the development of individual trees.

Based on an introduction to tree growth and its environmental control and an introduction to forest dynamics, regeneration methods and stand density and selective management will be explored in the context of traditional silvicultural systems as well as in the context of close-to-nature silviculture and ecosystem management.

Students will work on a case study, in which they develop silvicultural solutions for a concrete forest area, assuming different landholder objectives. In this context, they will be introduced to methods of sampling trees and stands, and will learn how to assess and interpret data and parameters of trees and stands to control forest growth, structure and dynamics, and to assess forest site productivity. Students will also learn the ecological implications of regulating tree and stand growth and of silvicultural approaches to manage and restore forest structure for the provision of ecosystem services and habitat. Particular focus will be placed on forest management according to close-to-nature paradigms.

Methods: Lectures will provide an overview over basic silvicultural and growth and yield concepts and highlight the scientific basis for silvicultural practices. They also aim at putting the readings into perspective and link silvicultural, ecological, and quantitative analytical concepts. Field trips will help visualize basic ecological and silvicultural concepts and provide practical examples for the concepts studied. Students will work in small groups on their case study to develop a management solution for a concrete forest area.

Learning goals and qualifications

Students:

  • will be able to understand silvicultural and growth and yield techniques and terminology (1, 2)
  • will gain an appreciation for various management approaches and their implications on growth and yield and ecosystem functions and processes (2, 4)
  • will be able to predict short- and long-term ecosystem responses to silvicultural practices, based on fundamental ecological concepts, such as succession, stand dynamics, growth and yield relationships (4)
  • will be able to plan natural and artificial regeneration, intermediate stand treatments and silvicultural systems in the context of growth and yield relationships and other ecosystem functions and processes (5, 6)

Classification of cognitive skills following Bloom (1956):

1 = Knowledge: recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers; 2 = Comprehension: understanding something; 3 = Application: using a general concept to solve problems in a particular situation; 4 = Analysis: breaking something down into its parts; 5 = Synthesis: creating something new by putting parts of different ideas together to make a whole; 6 = Evaluation: judging the value of material or methods.

Readings

Puettmann K.J., et al. (2015) Silvicultural alternatives to conventional even-aged forest management - what limits global adoption? Forest Ecosystems 2, 8, doi:10.1186/s40663-015-0031-x

 

Back to top

 


Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS)

IntegratedLandUseModule coordination

Prof. Dr. Benno Pokorny (Dr. Steffen Entenmann, Prof. Dr. Schmidt-Vogt)

Additional Lecturers

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bauhus, Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Prof. Dr. Michael Pregernig Dr. Julia Sohn, Peter Volz, Locardia Shayamunda, and invited experts

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures, tutorials, seminars, presentations, group work, excursions

Type of Examination

Written and oral presentation of a group work & individual oral examination

Syllabus

The rapidly growing world population and changing consumption patterns are placing increasing pressure on agricultural and forestry production systems. However, the classic intensification approach to increase yield of food and biomass by genetic standardization, mechanization and application of pesticides and fertilizer, has led to ambivalent results. In many places, negative environmental and social consequences have been observed such as soil degradation, eutrophication, decline in fresh water resources, loss of biodiversity, as well as land-use conflicts, loss of employment, and rural-urban migration.

Integrated Land Use Systems (ILUS), which combine different types of land uses and integrate several management goals, are gaining attention. It is assumed that ILUS compared to classic production systems provide a higher level of ecosystem goods and services, are less vulnerable to the risks of global change and market volatilities, and are better suited to the livelihood strategies of rural populations. However, despite these promises, in practice, ILUS still play an only minor role in most agricultural landscapes. Against this backdrop, this module intends to carefully reflect about the economic, social and environmental features of important ILUS and the possibility for broader diffusion.

The students will be organized into small working groups to conduct in-depth analyses on selected ILUS cases from different geographical regions and socioeconomic settings, and with different production objectives. To prepare the group for this task, experts introduce into key aspects of ILUS from technical, environmental and economic perspectives, and present relevant insights from South-America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Furthermore, excursions to the surroundings of Freiburg will provide practical insights about the relevance, potentials and challenges related to the application of ILUS. Based on this input, the students, during the module, will gradually develop their group work, which will be presented and discussed at the end of the module.

Learning Goals and Qualifications

One goal is to familiarize students with important ILUS (e.g., agroforestry systems) by gaining up to date expert knowledge. The second major goal is to train competencies in the analysis of ecological, social and economic foundations and effects of ILUS. Students will be guided to analyze case studies of selected ILUS.

After completing the course students should be able to:

  • Describe and classify different types of ILUS
  • Explain the history of ILUS and particularly their recent emergence as possible and more sustainable alternatives to commercial tree and crop monocultures;
  • Analyse the performance and potential of ILUS with respect to environmental, economic and sociocultural considerations
  • Relate ILUS to specific issues and processes including contribution to food security, economic growth, watershed protection and biodiversity conservation,
  • Critically reflect about the implications of ILUS in sustainable land use and rural livelihoods
  • Apply acquired knowledge and concepts to analyze ILUS.

Readings

A list of relevant texts will be made available at the start of the course; obligatory readings (and part of the voluntary readings) will be made available online in electronic form.

Preliminary readings:

  • Nair, P. R. (1993). An introduction to agroforestry. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Batish, D. R., Kohli, R. K., Jose, S., & Singh, H. P. (Eds.). (2007). Ecological basis of agroforestry. CRC Press.
  • Anderson, L. S. (1993). Ecological interactions in agroforestry systems.
  • Luedeling, E., Kindt, R., Huth, N. I., & Koenig, K. (2014). Agroforestry systems in a changing climate—challenges in projecting future performance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 6, 1-7.
  • Miccolis, A., Peneireiro, F., Vieira, D., Marques, H., & Hoffmann, M. (2017). Restoration through agroforestry: Options for reconciling livelihoods with conservation in the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes in Brazil. Experimental Agriculture, 1-18. doi:10.1017/S0014479717000138

    Back to top

     


    International Forest Governance

    Module coordination

    Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Prof. Dr. Peter Kanowski

    Teaching and Learning Methods

    Lectures, tutorials, panel discussions, group work, role play, excursion

    Type of Examination

    Learning portfolio, Literature summary, Negotiation

    Syllabus

    “Forest governance” can be understood as how societies organize and resource the management of forests to meet societal objectives. “Good forest governance” is widely recognized as fundamental to achieving the conservation and sustainable management of forests. However, globally, forests are often characterized by poor governance, and forest governance is characterized by increasing complexity (i) with multiple policies impacting on forests collaterally, e.g. biodiversity policy, climate policy, (ii) with a multitude of public, societal and private actors influencing forest governance, and (iii) with multiple levels of policy in the sub-national, national, regional and international arenas. The complexity and deficiencies of forest governance produce mixed results – for example, while sustainable forest management has become a central pillar of many forest policies, the loss and degradation of forests and their values and services continue in many countries.

    This module aims to help students to understand and address these complexities and deficiencies by developing a theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understanding of forest governance, focusing on the international level but necessarily extending to other levels. The module will introduce concepts of (international) governance, covering ideas, interests and institutions; and discussing power, democracy, participation and policy pathways. The normative ideal of good governance will be critically examined, as will the challenges it faces in the real world of international forest governance. The module will explore the role of public, societal and private actors, including the roles of key international governance processes and actors, and of non-state and market mechanisms such as forest certification. Students will play an operational game to consolidate both theoretical and empirical understanding, and make more accessible the challenges of international forest governance. The course strongly emphasizes problem oriented learning, and draws from contemporary and relevant cases.

    Learning Goals and Qualifications

    After completing the course students should be able to:

    • describe key actors and international processes relevant for forest governance (1);
    • explain the history and dynamism of (international) forest governance  (2);
    • differentiate the key interests and actors involved in international forest governance and relate them to specific issues and processes (2) (3)
    • critically reflect about the implications of current governance models (6)
    •  apply concepts of governance to analyze specific cases (4, 5, 6)

    Classification of cognitive skills following Bloom (1956):

    1 = Knowledge: recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers; 2 = Comprehension: understanding something; 3 = Application: using a general concept to solve problems in a particular situation; 4 = Analysis: breaking something down into its parts; 5 = Synthesis: creating something new by putting parts of different ideas together to make a whole; 6 = Evaluation: judging the value of material or methods.

    Readings

    A list of relevant texts will be made available at the start of the course; obligatory readings (and part of the voluntary readings) will be made available online in electronic form.

    Preliminary readings:

    • Auld, G., Gulbrandsen, C.H. & McDermott, C.L. (2008): Certification schemes and the impacts on forests and forestry. Annu Rev Environ Resour. 33: 187-211
    • Bernstein, S. & Cashore, B. (2012): Complex governance and domestic policies: four pathways of influence. International Affairs 88 (3): 585-604
    • Glück P. et al. (2010): Core components of the international Forest Regime Complex. In: Rayner, J., Buck, A., Katila, P. (eds): Embracing complexity: meeting the challenges of international forest governance. IUFRO World Series vol 28. Vienna, 37-55.
    • Tucker, C.M. (2010). Learning on governance in forest ecosystems: lessons from recent research. International Journal of the Commons 4: 687–706.

     

    Back to top