On International Day, FAO Announces Two Forest Education Initiatives

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has announced two forestry education initiatives on the 2019 International Day of Forests. The initiatives aim to raise awareness among children and young people on the conservation and sustainable use of forests.
The 2019 International Day of Forests is focusing on the theme, ‘Forests and Education,’ and aims to highlight the importance of education in achieving sustainable forest management (SFM). SDG 4 (quality education) is one of the SDGs under review in 2019 by the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and the theme aims to contribute to education for sustainable development.
One of the initiatives focuses on educating children on the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Philippines and Tanzania, two countries where rural populations rely on forests and woodlands for food security, livelihoods and energy needs. Both countries have high youth populations: one-third of the population in the Philippines is under 15 and nearly half of the population in Tanzania is under 15. Within this context, FAO is focusing on educating primary school students on SFM as part of broader efforts for ensuring the long-term integrity and sustainability of forests in these countries. The project aims to increase forest literacy among 9 to 12 year olds in the Philippines and Tanzania through the development of forest education modules that use an interactive, experiential, forest-based learning approach. These education materials will be available for further adaptation and use around the world through a dedicated website.
The second initiative will review the state of forest education, identify forestry education challenges and gaps, and develop recommendations to address these challenges. FAO will collaborate with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) to conduct an inventory of forest education across six regions and globally. The initiative will create an online platform on forest education.
The Government of Germany is providing USD 2 million in financial support for the projects.

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