Poverty and high dependence on natural resources for day-to-day survival are major challenges for the management and conservation of mountain regions in developing countries. Additional pressure on natural resources and forested areas in particular is caused by global change, increased demand for resources and lack of available land for agricultural uses. Education plays a key role in those particular settings to enable local people to actively participate in the management of the area they inhabit. The Mountain Forestry Master programme aims to provide specialised knowledge to people living and working in mountainous areas in developing countries.
The programme incorporates the current scientific and economic state of the art in mountain forest management. While it, of course, also covers theoretical aspects, the improvement of participants’ applied skills in this area is the main goal of the programme. This in turn directly translates to a substantial increase in their employability. In order to gain practical experience students also take part in three mandatory field exercises, where they can apply newly learnt concepts in a controlled setting.
PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES ...
... To provide focused and specialised education in managing mountain forest resources with a global perspective.
... To teach students to recognise and solve problems regarding forest management and conservation in mountainous regions.
... To strengthen interdisciplinary approaches to mountain forestry, integrating aspects of engineering, socio-economics, natural sciences and other subject-specific disciplines related to mountain forest management.
It is expected that students who enrol in the Mountain Forestry Master programme already have some practical working knowledge in their professional areas of interest. The Master programme delivers additional knowledge to enable a broad approach to the management and conservation of mountain forest areas with special emphasis on social and economical circumstances of developing countries.
Most of the alumni return to their home countries, and contribute significantly to the conservation and management of forests. More than half of our former students currently work in governmental organisations within their country of origin. Other employers are national parks and non-governmental organisations (NGO), where our alumni typically work in conservation and natural resource management. Some of our graduates also have returned to Austria to pursue doctoral studies at BOKU.