Feedback on the Training Workshop by 27 APFNet scholarship students
Training Workshop held in Beijing, China: October 21-23, 2016
This workshop introduced the importance of the interactions between science and policy. We learnt skills to help us communicate scientific facts to policy makers. We also learnt a lot about IUFRO—its structure, role, strategies, and members—and about the specific action taken by international organizations and independent scientific bodies to deal with the science-policy gaps in natural resource management. The real need for improved communication and meaningful dialogue with relevant stakeholders, decision makers, and scientific groups was shown. Case studies highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges the science community faces in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation through forest landscape restoration.
Indeed, the workshop is very helpful because it gives a practical scope of the real situation and needs in the science-policy interface as well as forest landscape restoration. This information and knowledge will be useful for our two-year master degree study and it will be applied in the work environment in our respective countries. We may use the knowledge of the science-policy interface in our thesis paper and to communicate our results and research findings.
Yes, the majority of us work as forest officers and planning managers and we are required to make decisions related to the topics that were covered in the training. We got very useful information and knowledge on how to prepare policy briefs and how to convince decision makers to consider scientific information. We also made use of the opportunity to make presentations in front of an audience and improve our presentation skills.
We found the lecturers to be very well informed, very experienced and excellent communicators. The interactive style of presentation was very helpful in keeping students alert and gave us the opportunity to learn from the experience of other colleagues. The training could be improved by including a short video clip during the lecturers’ presentations and by visiting a field site to see forest landscape restoration in practice after the lectures.
We strongly encourage BJFU, NJFU, and APFNet to support student participation in international conferences, workshops, field trips, and cultural exchange activities in the future. Overall, we found the workshop excellent and we recommend to host other such activities not only in Beijing, but in other cities as well.
Thank you IUFRO, APFNet, BJFU, and NJFU.
The 27 students were supported by the APFNet Scholarship Program and currently study at Beijing Forestry University (BJFU) and Nanjing Forestry University (NJFU), China, for their Master degree. They come from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Papua New Guina, Sri Lanka and Thailand.