Climate change in African forestry education :Facts on the ground (Anglophone countries).

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This report presents the results of a survey undertaken by the African Forest Forum on climate change content in forestry education in Anglophone and Lusophone Africa. The survey was undertaken from November 2013 to March 2014 and it covered 12 universities, 3 technical colleges and 4 research institutes in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The methodology involved questionnaires, face to face interviews, Skype calls and harvesting data from institutional documents and websites. Education policy makers and NEPAD-AU were also consulted. Data processing was largely descriptive and qualitative due to huge differences observed among the institutions, especially relating to size (in staff numbers and total student enrolment); status (departments versus faculties in the case of universities); the depth of teaching programmes and available facilities. These differences defied simple tabulation comparisons.

 

The survey objectives were

• To understand the current state of climate change education within forestry education in Africa;

• To understand the processes, needs and constraints to development, adoption and delivery of climate change education in forestry;

• To recommend actions necessary to overcome identified challenges;

• To propose a candidate syllabus for climate change education in forestry; and

• To propose specific actions that can be undertaken by the African Forest Forum and other stakeholders to enhance preparedness of foresters for climate change response.

 

The results show that there are no specific policy statements requiring forestry schools to teach climate change, nor are there resources specifically allocated for that. However, there are clear indications of the need for human and institutional capacity to address climate change challenges. All the institutions participating in the survey have some form of climate change education, but the depth of coverage is highly variable. Generally, technical colleges had minimum coverage - typically climate change is taught as a topic in subjects like silviculture, forest mensuration and forest biology/ecology. Universities had a wide range of approaches from postgraduate education (MSc and PhD) and two universities to climate change as a subject that is independently taught and examined to just a topic in some subjects. For undergraduate and technical education, the climate change contents are highly variable, often packaged from materials gathered from seminars and workshops.

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