The University’s Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT) is hosting 27 participants from 13 different countries throughout June.
The Improving Forest Governance course at the Telford Campus aims to provide an overview of rapidly changing international policies toward illegal logging and tropical forest management.
Participants include government regulators, private sector and civil society representatives, academics and journalists from countries including Ecuador, Cameroon, Cambodia and Malaysia. The course will be delivered in both French and English.
The University received a £1.5 million grant earlier this year from the European Commission for a four-year project to support efforts to reduce illegal logging in Africa.
Phil Dearden, Head of CIDT, said: “CIDT is delighted to be hosting the course again. We are building on the success of last year’s course and received many more applications this year. Places were offered to applicants from a wide range of tropical countries and individuals with key roles in decision-making from government, academics, civil society groups and private sector companies.”
Course Director, Jill Edbrooke, added: “By improving how forests are governed it should be possible to increase income to governments and forest dwelling people in tropical countries, which are amongst the poorest in the world.
“At the same time, by creating trade incentives in Europe and the USA, levels of deforestation and the amount of timber which arrives illegally can be reduced. Even better, this win-win scenario contributes to strategies to reduce climate change.
“CIDT is proud to be able to contribute to this by bringing such a rich mix of participants together to share their experiences and strengthen the way they work when they return home.”
Visits during the four-week course will help participants to understand how forestry is managed in the UK. The group will go to North Wales to see how policies are put into practice by the Forestry Commission of Wales in local woodlands; visit the Centre for Alternative technology in Machynlleth and the Small Woods Trust UK in Ironbridge.
Speakers will include international non-governmental organisations Global Witness, Transparency International and FERN; academics and researchers from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the World Resources Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development; the Buildings Research Establishment and trade experts from the UK Timber Trade Federation. The group will also attend the ‘illegal logging update meeting’ at Chatham House in London which attracts international speakers from around the world.
The course was launched last year and attendees have increased from 23 last year to 27 this year. The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Forest Institute (EFI) are the two main sponsors. Global Witness and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have also funded places.
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