Experts in forest management from around the world are visiting the University of Wolverhampton to take part in a course focused on reducing illegal timber trading.
The Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) is hosting more than 30 participants from 12 countries including Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, the Ivory Coast and Indonesia.
It is the third time the University’s Telford Campus has hosted the six-week Improving Forest Governance Course, which focuses on areas such as climate change, planning and communication and forest trade.
Participants include government regulators, private sector and civil society representatives, academics and journalists and the course will be delivered in both French and English.
Course Director, Jill Edbrooke, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming a range of international guests for this course. It is designed to strengthen the capacity of those who are involved in negotiating agreements with the European Union to ensure that Europe is only importing timber that has been produced legally.
“We continue to develop the programme to reflect the needs of participants, who always tell us they find the course hugely beneficial and that they enjoy their time with us in Shropshire.”
Visits during the course are designed to help participants to understand how forestry is managed in the UK. The group will go to Coed y Brenin and forest near Bangor in North Wales to learn how the UK Forestry Commission has been decentralised; to a farm in Herefordshire to look at how farmers can generate income from the environmental services they offer; and to James Latham, a private sector company based at Dudley.
They will also attend a special celebration to mark 40 years of the Centre for International Development and Training, which is a self-financing, non-profit making centre within the University. The team specialises in people-centred, sustainable development across the globe.
The course is designed to strengthen the capacity of different stakeholders who are involved in negotiating ‘Voluntary Partnership (Trade) Agreements’ with the European Union to ensure that Europe is only importing timber that has been produced legally.
While the majority of participants are involved in VPA processes, some are from countries that are interested in entering into negotiations on illegal timber trading and others are involved in climate change or academic research.
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736