Successful training on sustainable commercial reforestation management
Last month, 32 young forestry professionals participated in the training ‘Sustainable commercial reforestation management’ at Form Ghana’s training centre in Berekum. The participants are employees from Form Ghana, Forestry Commission of Ghana, APSD, Miro Forestry, and other related institutes in Ghana, who felt the need to deepen the aspects related specifically to plantation management. This training was funded under the Nuffic Tailor-Made Training programme and developed by a consortium of University of Applied sciences Van Hall Larenstein, Form International and CMO Forestry Operations Africa.
Bringing all promising aspects of sustainable plantation management fully into play, requires well trained managers and capable staff. During the establishment of reforestation areas, Form Ghana sensed difficulties with finding expert staff among young professionals in Ghana. Therefore the company took matters into their hands and initiated this training. Next to own staff, Form Ghana invited other forestry related institutes in Ghana to send their employees. The number of applications exceeded the expectations; half of the applicants could not be admitted.
Due to overwhelming interest and assertive participation of the trainees it became even more clear that the need is high for this kind or trainings. Trainees constantly asked questions relating the new information to their own working environment and trainers often found their session ending up in heated discussions.
Dutch ambassador Mr. Ron Strikker was impressed by the positive attitude of the participants when he visited the training on the 19th of October : “I was struck by the enthusiasm of the participants. This training is an inspiring example of how Holland and Ghana are growing together
It became immediately visible that the training will directly influence reforestation initiatives in Africa. Trainee Ayité Gaba, Co-Founder of Togo Timber S.A., commented: “I have received insight in information that is practical and directly relevant to the work we are doing in our plantations in Togo. Lecture material shared in class contains exactly the kind of information I was having trouble finding”
To follow up on this initial training, a meeting was arranged with Dr. Victor Rex Barnes, Tropical Ecologist Climate Change Scientist Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST). Together with Form Ghana he spoke about the necessity of bringing expertise into the country regarding plantation forestry and building relationships with global forestry training institutions: “Since the environmental conditions in Ghana have changed in the last decades, it is important that we review the existing education system and curricula. Within the course of Natural Resource Management we are currently putting more emphasis on strategies for climate change management such as fire management, climate-smart plantation management and drought management”
. Form Ghana Ltd. and KNUST are very happy to move their existing collaborative relationship to the next level.
Looking back it has been a great experience for both trainers and trainees to create this proactive and learning environment, together. Now, it is important to see into possibilities that take this initial training to the next level, so that in the near future highly qualified managers are empowered to sustainably restore the degraded areas of Ghana.
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