- 2017 Milovy, Czech Republic
- 2016 Biri, Norway
- 2015 Zvolen, Slovakia
- 2014 Lagów, Poland
- 2013 Bilbao, Spain
- 2012 Dunkeld, Scotland/UK
- 2011 Freising, Germay.
- 2010 Lahti, Finland
- 2009 Lyss, Switzerland
- 2008 Burfelt, Luxembourg
- 2007 Gmunden, Austria
- 2006 Sopron, Hungary
12th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2017
Milovy, Czech Republic, 3 - 6 October 2017
Forestpedagogy – adventures between communicating and educating
The two congress days presented keynotes related to two of the objectives of the Forestpedagogy-strategy of the FCN Subgroup.
A: Forest owners, forest administration and forest enterprises are communicating about management of their forests through Forestpedagogy activities.
B: Forestpedagogy is an educational process to reach environmental maturity and Forestpedagogy is a prime example for ESD.
The keynotes were presented by Emma Berglund (Confédération Européenne des Propriétaires Forestiers), Jiří Svoboda (Forest Cooperative Přibyslav), Martin Šrom (Lipka – school facility for environmental education) and Rolf Jucker (Stiftung SILVIVA). Special presentation was delivered by Dirk Schmechel (Bavarian State Forestry Institute), who summarized key points from the scientific papers presented at the 125th Anniversary IUFRO Congress 2017. The congress topic was wrapped up in the panel discussion. The conclusion of the panel is that forest pedagogy can be both education for sustainable development and mean of communication for forest owners and managers. And these two perspectives do not exclude each other, but may be combined in forest pedagogics programmes.
The congress gathered 129 participants from 17 countries. Besides lectures each participant could have attended 2 workshops, each 2 hours long and 7 forest pedagogics activities, each 20 min long. Participant also joined the Market of Projects in which they could comment on running forest pedagogics projects. The congress was closed by two excursions – one was to Eden Centre, where participants visited the traditional Vysocina village, the pavilion with enviro-friendly technologies and took part in a craft workshop. The other was to Žďár nad Sázavou, where a New generation museum was visited and then to Staré Ransko to join the programme “A Day with a Forester” – a successful forest pedagogics programme for schools by Forest Cooperative Přibyslav.
The congress was opened by Patrik Mlynář, Deputy Minister of the Agriculture of the Czech Republic, Jiří Běhounek, President of the Vysočina Region, Dirk Schmechel from the FCN-subgroup-Forest pedagogy, Jaroslav Kubišta, Deputy Director of the Forest Management Institute Czech Republic, Ondřej Kopecký from the Forests of the Czech Republic, state enterprise and František Kučera, President of The Association of Municipal and Private Forest Owners in the Czech Republic. The closing day was visited by Tomáš Krejzar, Director of the Department of Forest Policy and Economy, Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.
The congress was hosted by Forest Management Institute, Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Working Group for Forest Pedagogy in the Czech Republic (established by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic) and the FCN-subgroup-Forest pedagogics. The congress was supported by Forests of the Czech Republic, state enterprise and Vysočina Region.
13th European Forest Pedagogics Congress will be held in Pudasjärvi, Finland on October 2018.
Emma Berglund, Confédération Européenne des Propriétaires Forestiers
Forest owners are communicating about the management of their forests(in English)
Jiří Svoboda, The Association of Municipal and Private Forest Owners in the Czech Republic
Forest owners and forestry companies communicate the forest management through forest pedagogy (in Czech)
Martin Šrom, Lipka – school facility for environmental education
Are the activities of forest pedagogy fruitful? (partly in Czech)
Rolf Jucker, Stiftung Silviva
How does Forest Pedagogy contribute to Education for Sustainable Development? (in English)
Dirk Schmechel, Bavarian State Forestry Institute
Forestpedagogy meets IUFRO! (in English)
11th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2016
Biri, Norway, 24. - 26. October 2016
Bio-economy and Forestpedagogics – a great chance for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
The 11th European Forest Pedagogics Congress in Biri, Norway, gathered 70 participants form 17 nations. The theme of the congress was bioeconomy, and how this can be a chance to focus on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, ecologic, and social.
In the first keynote of the congress, Jon Bingen took us on an historical journey to explain why bioeconomy is not just a good idea, but also necessary and inevitable. Both for the international economics and politics, it is a good idea to move away from petroleum and towards biomass. Biomass is more evenly distributed, and will give opportunities to more nations.
In our work with the children, this is an opportunity to show them, discuss with them and challenge them on all the possibilities for the future. At the same time, as Victoria W. Thoresen emphasized in her keynote, we must convey to the new generation how nature is a necessary basis. Our forests must be managed in a sustainable matter. This is not only a job for the forest manager, but also for the consumers.
Bioeconomy is very complex matter. To impart the basic knowledges, the challenges, and finally the possibilities of bioeconomy, is a difficult task. Dr. Günter Dobler explained in his keynote how stories can help you convey the whole picture. Using stories could be a way to get your message through.
Bioeconomy is the story of both challenges and possibilities. Hopefully this congress has given us some knowledge, practical experiences, inspiration, and tools to tell this story in our environmental education and in encounters with the public.
10th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2015
Zvolen/Slovakia, 29th September – 1st October 2015
Quo vadis Forestpedagogy? Outlooks after 10 years of networking in Europe.
The 10th European Forestpedagogy Congress in Slovakia (Zvolen, 29th sept – 1st oct 2015) underlined that more and more states can tell success-stories about their activities in forest related environmental education. 140 participants from 15 states discussed the future challenges forestpedagogy is faced with and about how the higher steps forestpedagogs in Europe still have to take.
Societies are in a change
Philippe Pypaert, from the UNSCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, emphasized in his keynote, that various environmental, demographical, social and political changes are challenging the societies worldwide. Problems like the supply with energy or food, the reduction of the ecological footprint, the preservation of biodiversity or the solution of urbanization and migration must be solved globally. Presenting the Global action plan for Education for sustainable development (ESD) as follow-up program of the UN-decade (2005-2014) for ESD, he focused on the necessity, that Forestpedagogs shouldn´t offer the topic “Forests” or “Forestry” in a separated or sectoral manner. Forest-related topics must be linked and connected with other topics (for example water, energy, ecological footprint, climate change, biodiversity) which can´t be discussed without the forest-sector, when a global and sustainable view is required.
The way people are communicating is in a change
Internets, new media and social communities are dominating increasingly todays concepts of communication. PR-expert and media-analyst Miroslav Kollár explained in his key-note that forestpedagogs have to use these tools in order to transfer their offers and success stories just in time. He pointed out that the messages must be actual, short, simple, positive and they should clearly show the benefit for those to whom they are addressed to.
Darina Výbohová, from the Methodical and Pedagogical Centre if Slovakia, illustrated, that learning methods and strategies of learning at school must develop, to reach the objectives of ESD. Especially interaction, self-discovering learning and possibilities for participation should be integrated in todays school-curricula. Therefore the personal contact between pupils and the forester as an authentic practitioner shouldn´t be missing, when learning is about forests. For this purpose the congress offered 10 workshops and a market of activities, with best-practice-examples in Forestpedagogy and possibilities for exchanging experiences.
The dialogue about forests and forestry is in change
The increasing amount and variety of interests referring to forests and their management also leads to more discussions about what is right or wrong, how the forest should be managed or not and which service or function should have priority. This dialogue is showing the wish of many people and interest groups to participate, cooperate or to take responsibility for the protection of forests or species. In the public perception the “protector” often is the “hero” and the forester is the “wicked” – cutting the trees for making money. But such discussions or even conflicts can also be taken as a chance for bringing the different actors on a round table.
So Quo vadis Forestpedagogy?
Taking this changes into consideration, the conclusions and consequences for forestpedagogs became obvious in this 10th European congress. When the amount and the variety of interests in services and functions of forests is increasing, forestpedagogs can lead the dialogue between the different actors, their conflicts and discussions. Even if Forestpedagogy won´t have the solution for every problem, it might offer free space for coming together, discussing about compromises and give impulses for the actors to find self-reliant solutions.
Therefore more cooperation and participation, not only within the forest and timber sector, but also with actors and interest-groups from education, environment, biodiversity, the social-cultural-spiritual sector or others is necessary.
Finally forestpedagogs must raise more awareness in public, policy and society. They have a lot of good stories to tell in which they don´t need to be the hero, but the moderator and mediator of forest-topics and in in forest/forestry-related discussions, conflicts or projects.
Keynote 1Title: The Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development: Perspectives and Practices from the Network of Biosphere Reserves in Europe
Speakers: Philippe Pypaert; ESD Program Specialist, Science Unit, UNESCO Office, Venice
Time: 11:00 - 12:00 a.m
Keynote 2Title: Is Forestpedagogy capable of tackling “learning for sustainability” concept?
Speakers: Darina Výbohová; The Methodology and Pedagogy Centre, Slovakia
Keynote 3Title: How to make communication related to Forestpedagogy more effective in the present media world?
Speaker(s): Miroslav Kollár, Journalist, Media-analyst, DG of the news agency, consultant of the Ministry of culture of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia
9th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2014
Lagów/Poland, 10th to 12th September 2014
„Forestpedagogy – More than telling about forests!”
Short report and conclusions
Under the motto „Forestpedagogy – More than telling about forests!" 120 participants coming from 15 states attended the 9th European-Forestpedagogy-Congress from the 9th – 12th of September in Lagow/Poland.
These 120 forestpedagogs, teachers, educators and foresters discussed on this congress-topic, shared experiences or best practice examples and focussed on new challenges and items Forestpedagogy in Europe is faced with. The hosting organizations were the Polish State Forest Enterprise, the Polish Forest Educators Association and the FCN Subgroup Forestpedagogy.
This year congress wanted to show how forestpedagogy can benefit the human being and how it impacts on responsible citizenship. Practical and innovative approaches visualized, that Forestpedagogy can be more than just knowledge transfer. Because forests – as an ideal model for sustainability - deliver a lot of different values, services and merits to human beings. And: Forestpedagogy programs are more and more demanding for pedagogical impacts on all aspects of human competences.
The congress indicated, that the last ten years of Forestpedagogy in Europe are full of of success-stories in an constantly increasing number of european states. Meanwhile the exchange of Best-practice and Networking for Forestpedagogy in Europe is highly developed (... however still some states are not yet included). Furthermore Projects and Programmes increasingly adress to new target groups, integrate partners to cooperate and develop in quality by offering more than just knowledge – transfer.
But Forestpedagogy – so the congress resumed - is also challenged to climb the higher steps of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Forestpedagogs must intensify the dialogue with groups of all forest-related interests in society and with partners from education. Therefore Forestpedagogogs must identify urgent topics in society (for example health, energy, ..) and develop good fitting Forestpedagogy-offers to get into a dialogue about this themes.
If the different actors are able to succeed in that, than Forestpedagogy will enter political dimensions and so awareness for Forestpedagogy in society and policy will increase.
Dirk Schmechel, FCN-Subgroup-Forestpedagogy
More than telling about Forests
Prof. Dr. Anna Kalinowska, Warsaw University, Poland
Educating for Sustainable Development
Bjørn Helge Bjørnstad, Forestry Extension Institute, Norway
Five Steps to Environmental Maturity, from FP to ESD
Krzysztof J. Kwiatkowski, Polish Survival School Association, Poland
Discover Yourself in the Forest
Dr. Kerstin Ensinger, Forest Research Institute, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
Forests and Human Health
8th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2013
Bilbao/Spain, 23rd to 25th October 2013.
„Forestpedagogy: For Whom? What methods? How to approach?“
Short report and conclusions
Under the patronage of Bittor Oroz, Vice Consejero for agriculture and forestry in the Basque County, 105 delegates from 20 states took part at the 8th European Forestpedagogy Congress in Bilbao. As hosting partners the Union de Silvicultura del Sur de Europa (USSE), the European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Associacion de Forestales de Espana (PROFOR) had prepared the 8th European Congress of Forestpedagogy under the steering of the Subgroup Forestpedagogy (Forest-Communicators-Network, FCN).
Forestpedagogs in Europe – so the participants agreed - must continue to get especially children reconnected with nature. “Because a lot of children are having 100 friends on facebook but only one single friend on the street and because children are the mirror of the adults, and even of our whole earth.” On the other hand – the congress resumed - children should be picked up, where they are, living more and more in urban surroundings and in a technical, world-wide-internet-connected world. „We have to link and mingle urban and rural realities together as well as we must link technological realities with the necessity of environmental education.“
The congress concluded that Forestpedagogy in Europe has already achieved important milestones in the last years, like the development of an annual conference since 2006, the increase of experience-exchange, the raise of awareness in forestry, society and policy or the expansion in forestpedagogy - research and – science. But there are still big challenges to be tackled. The social and political awareness of Forestpedagogy particularly among the national and European Forestry policy and forest departments must develop further. The internal and external Communication on and about Forestpedagogy must increase and Networking and Cooperation between the different stakeholders should expand. Furthermore Forestpedagogy must be established as a recognised part of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the quality of all aspects of Forestpedagogy must be improved continuously. Therefore the FCN-Subgroup actually is developing an Action Plan.
To reach their target-groups, the participants agreed upon, Forestpedagogy is challenged to focus more on the conflict-topics forests and forestry is faced with. But also new emerging topics, like "Forests, forestry and Health" should become a task for Forestpedagogs, who can "communicate forests as pathways to health".
- Heike Freire, Spain
Green Peadagogy: An approach for the 21st century
- Dirk Schmechel, Germany
A European strategy for Forestpedagogy – Concepts of the FCN-Subgroup
- Albert Ortiz de Zarate, Spain
Forests as digital environments for learning
- Dr. Matilda van den Bosch, Sweden
Forests, Forestry and human health - A topic for Forestpedagogy?
7th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2012
Scotland, Dunkeld, 2nd – 5th of October 2012
"Successful partnership working for Education for Sustainable Development"
110 delegates from 15 states took part at the 7th European Forestpedagogy Congress.
The congress concluded that Forestpedagogy in Europe is challenged to
- focus more and more on successful partnership working and networking of the different actors to qualify Education for Sustainable Development. This can especially done by sharing and exploring examples of best practice.
- provide networking opportunities for forest pedagogues from across the European Union and from other continents, with a view to sharing experience and knowledge to improve practice.
- continue and develop further its efforts in forestpedagogy-research and -evaluation-studies as well as to share and explore recent research results relevant to Education for Sustainable Development from a forest pedagogy perspective.
To look at more summarized results and outcomes, the programme, or the list of Partcipants, please look at the congress-Report.
Contents and contributions
- David Henderson-Howat, Deputy Director Forestry Commission Scotland
- Kirstin Manley, Wales
Woodlands of the Dyfi Biosphere
- Sirpa Karkkainen, Finland
The “life cycle of the forest” project
- Vincent Reynolds, Northern Ireland
Collaboration between Special and Mainstream Schools in a Forest School setting
- Tim Gill, England
- Natalija Gyorek, Slovenia
Forest of Happy Children
- Video-streams, see:
6th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2011 in Freising
Germany, Freising 24. – 27. July 2011
"Forest pedagogics – thinking global, acting local"
During the congress up-to-date concepts, research results and latest developments in the fields of forest pedagogics and Education for Sustainable Development were discussed. Experts from various nationalities presented their approaches to forest pedagogics with – hopefully – various benefits for the field work of the participants.
The congress was approved to be an official contribution to the UN-decade "Education for Sustainable Development" by the German commission of UNESCO.
The 160 participants from 18 states agreed upon, that ...
Forestpedagogy in Europe is challenged ...
- to think and act global in its activities or projects.
This can especially be done by implementing the criteria of ESD (f.e. competences of acting, global fairness, .. ) and by focussing on worldwide-relevant and forest/forestry-related topics (f.e. climate change, forestry and nature-conservation, water, energy).
- to increase networking and coorporation with organisations and actors of all sectors of sustainable development (ecological, ecconomical, social, cultural).
- to continue and develop further its efforts in forestpedagogy-research and -evaluation-studies.
- to pursue the european process of coorporation and experience exchange, coordinated by the subgroup-FP-FCN (common objectives, annual congress, common quality standards, coherent concept).
Contents and contributions
- Georg Windisch (State Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry; Head oft he Bavarian Forest Administration):
- Prof. Ute Stoltenberg (University of Lüneburg, Germany):
Forest pedagogy in a global context – implemented locally
- Lukas Laux (Bavarian Forest National Park, Germany):
From Bavaria to Panama – Forest pedagogic concepts around the globe
- Ingwald Gschwandtl (Head of the EU Forest communicators Network, Austria):
The EU-Forestry-PR-Strategy of the Standing Commission for Forestry – Relevances for forest pedagogics
- Prof. Robert Vogl (University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan, Germany), Prof. Heinz Mandl (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany):
Evaluation of forest pedagogic programmes as a component of ESD
- Katia Meunier-Caille (Opération interministérielle "A l'école de la forêt", France):
Integration and connection of ESD in forest pedagogic programs in France
- Berthold Reichle ("House of the forest" Stuttgart, Germany):
The exhibition CityForestWorld – concept and experiences
5th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2010
Finland, Lahti 21. – 22. October 2010, Sibelius Hall
„Forestpedagogics – beneficial impacts on education and Society"
On The 6th European Forest Pedagogics congress in Lahti 75 foresters, teachers, pedagogs and forest pedagogs from 18 european states discussed about the beneficial impacts of foretspeadgogy on education and society. The conclusions of the congress are containing a lot of succesful results but also pretentious challenges and important further steps for foretspeadgogy in Europe.
4th European Forestpedagogics Congress
Lyss, Switzerland, October 2009
"Results and prospects"
Forestpedagogics is needed – it is establishing itself and it is being considered by townsmen as indispensable, but more and more also by decision makers and opinion leaders.
We should consolidate on purpose and definition of Forestpedagogics.
Our European forestpedagogics network is now ready to be permanent discussion forum.
It is obvious: it no longer can only be all about, to generate a "positive attitude towards the, to explain forest and forestry...Because: Not the forest is the aim, but it is a mean to serve the people!
In fact it is about to let the people take part in our "understanding of sustainability", thus to "teach sustainability" at the example of the forest!
Therefore a new ambitious aim for forestpedagogics is important: The sustainable acting person. That is a quite good basis to enable the people to take on responsibility for themselves, for the fellow man and for the nature. Logically consistent forestpedagogics then would have to be defined as "forest-related education for sustainability" which conveys the long-term, holistic and public welfare oriented aspects of sustainability at a local, regional and global level.
Forestpedagogy has to cooperate with the school-education
Let us enforce our role as "junior partner" of the national education system, because terms like "alianation from nature", "sensory overload", "pauperisation of social competences", "loss of values", "lack of prospects", "violence"... characterize the contemporary discussion about the situation even at our schools.
Almost every offered category is adressed to pupil – rightly as I might add. This work is not restricted to a certain knowledge transfer. Because: At the "green classroom" rises the fun that can go along with learning. Here a networked interdisciplinary learning becomes concrete and you can really take things up. Prompt the forest offers different ways to deal with accumulated aggressions or hidden fears.
Forestpedagogics has to become a subject of EU-policy
Based upon the forest action plan and especially it's key action 10 "Encourage environmental education and information" we should do everything to make forestpedagogics a subject of EU-policy. The planed meatings on forestpedagogics of the FCN-Subgroup Forest related environmental education will serve for this purpose. Also within the the Union of European forester we want to emphasise this position of forestpedagogics as part of the EU-policy.
3rd European Forestpedagogy Congress
Burfelt, Luxembourg, 11th-13th June 2008
Due to the Invitation of the Luxembourg Department of the Environment, the forestry field office Wiltz and the forest discovery centre Burfelt (host) as well as of the initative group Forestpedagogics.eu 61 participants out of 10 states (A, B, CH, CZ, D, F, HU, L, PL, SK) gathered.
They discussed questions and problems of the European Forestpedagogics in the meeting languages English, French and German (with simultaneous translation).
And this was the course:
June 11th , 2008
Most participants arrived and registered theselves till 18o'clock. They accommodated themselves and had then a casual "regular forestpedagogical get-together".
June 12th , 2008
In the morning the participants hat the the opportunity to "wood chin-wag", to have a look at the put up poster-presentations and to exchange leaflets and booklets...ono results, projects and programmes... A lot of attention as well as interest attracted the presented forestpedagogical appliences out of Brandenbourg (D).
After the official opening and welcoming by the Luxembourg hosts the ceremony "15 years Forest discovery centre Burfelt" followed.
The Forest discovery centre was presented as well as the nature experience centre strategies introduced to the Luxembourg forest administration.
After lunch the coordinator of the Europe network forestpedagogics.eu Thomas Baschny (A) opened the convention with his lecture "European Forestpedagogics has a future - capable of politics and purposeful". Hethereby elaborated on the so far accomplished.
- Lectures on the following topics were extensively discussed :
- wood relevant ESD projects with schools (L)
- Forestpedagogics from the point of view of forest owner (A)
- Forestpedagogics and ESD (D)
- Forest politicy and forestpedagogics (D)
- School and wood (F)
- 16th European wood theatre (B)
- Forestpedagogics on forest week (SK)
Afterwards the Luxembourg Department of the Environment invited to dinner which was followed by an exchange of experience and information as well as a comfortable get-together with many first conversations where the participants got to know each other better at the forest discovery centre.
June 13th, 2008
In the morning of the excursion day the participants were divided into 2 groups. All participants pass all the points of the excursion (solar boat, wood experience centre and nature reserve Pont Misere) aternately.
Before lunch the "European wood" was planted collectively at the Sauer reservoir (many participants had brought wood plants from their home country).
After the continuation of the excursions in the afternoon the offical closure of the convention followed at Lultzhausen (place of convention).
Network coordinator Thomas Baschny looked forward optimisticly look in his completion talk to the front: What can we expect from the forestpedagogical field within the next weeks and months, what will bring us the future? Which important tasks are to be solved conjointly and which claims are to be made?
He introduces first factual scheduled considerations in order to establish a "European forestpedagogical work schedule" and asked all participants for additions up to the 31st of July 2008.
The hosts plan on to create a conference volume in form of a CD-rom.
The next European forestpedagogics convention in 2009 is to be held in Switzerland.
2nd European forestpedagogy congress
Gmunden, Austria, 22nd - 23nd March 2007
"Forests for People"
97 participants from 15 European states (Austria, Slovenia, Czechia, Latvia, Croatia, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Portugal, Great Britain, Finland) took part.
The products of the project PAWS were among introduced: A training Programme seminar concept, a manual and a CD for the planning of forestpedagogical events.
The materials are available for free on www.paws.daa-bbo.de
1st European Forest Pedagogics Congress
Hungary, Sopron 20. – 22. September 2006
The development of forestpedagogics in Europe was, main topic of the first international forestpedagogics convention which took place in the forest environmental centre of the Hungarian town Sopron (Ödenburg) from September 20th to 22nd 2006.
Representatives from eight European countries introduced their concepts and discussed the chances of forestpedagogics in a Europe growing together.
A "career in the administration" certified Dr. Albert Knieling, head of department in the Austrian life ministry, to forestpedagogics in his lecture "forestpedagogics as a part of the European forest policy". So far forestpedagogics is represented on pan-European only indirectly as a component of few resolutions and at UN level not at all. On an EU-level Ii is mentioned in the forest action plan for the years 2007-2011 and in the advice ordinance " development of rural area ". At a national level forestpedagogics appeared in all sorts of programmes since the first mention in 1990. The forest action plan (were forestpedagogics is on of 18 prior actions) now enables the networking of forestpedagogics within the European area as well as its elaboration. The member countries have now the opportunity to realize forestpedagogical measures . This might happen within the context of national plans for the development of the rural area, for example. “We get hold of it " he appealed to the conference participants. Knieling held the opinion that the career of the forestpedagogics will go on. He critically examined the present publicity of forestpedagogics in economy and politics. Particularly concerning the information stand of political decision makers he sees the necessity to improvement . Knieling sees deficits also in the previous political lobby work, which does not exceed a regional level due to a very individual appearance of the protagonists and insufficient networking resp. organisation .