On Wednesday the sun was shining once again and we had interesting lectures with lots of discussion, which many of us had been missing.
Aleksi Heiskanen from WWF Finland gave presentation providing good example of important role of communities in Managing landscape focusing on case Tanzania.
On a lecture by Aleksi Heiskanen, WWF Finland
It was nice to hear how WWF is working, with focusing on biodiversity, good governance and ecological footprint. The focus areas of WWF Finland are Himalaya, Borneo and Coastal East Africa. Sad news are that as Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has decreased the governmental budget, it also will mean smaller budgets on these projects. We discussed e.g. on governance challenges and equitable benefit sharing. Project has supported local people to make sustainable forestry according to law and FSC certification and local people have got income and developed their communities e.g. by building schools.
The next presentation we had by Asst. Professor Damrong Pipatwattanakul, from the Kasetsart University, Thailand. The topic of presentation was Sustainable Forest Ecological Restoration in the Context of Corporate Social and we heard interesting example on co-operation between government, community and private sector. Since 2010 co-operation has resulted a lot. Thailand has industrialized quickly and it has caused a lot of damage for environment. Project, that we heard, was the first real example of ecological restoration in Thailand, funded by the private company, and it is real best practice and good model for the other areas. Forest restoration is the main topic, and it has strong importance for biodiversity and hydrology. The next plan is to build a learning center to spread the gained knowledge for interest people, and promoting this model for the other areas as well.
Asst. Professor Damrong Pipatwattanakul from Thailand presenting Forest Ecological Restoration project.
The next and last presentation was on Restoration of degraded lands on Sahel, in Burkina Faso, by Professor Jean-Marie Dipama. It was interesting to hear a lecture on Burkina Faso from where we also have students in the course. 77% of inhabitants are living in rural areas, and agricultural activity is important for people there. We heard on lands degradation factors (socio-economic, agricultural and climate variabilities), forms and consequences, as well as strategies to restore landscape. Habitats in Burkina Faso are very different to Finland, where we are now. Circumstances are difficult against climate change, if dry season can last event two years! Adaptation on climate change is real challenge.
After the presentation we had interesting discussion. There are no policy or regulations or land-use planning regulating e.g. picking of firewood or small scale loggings, and they would be very much needed, as situation is very difficult with deforestation. We also discussed on stoves that could decrease of the need of firewood for cooking if they could help this situation. Cultural aspect is strong in this sense. Rate of deforestation there is really high and strong change in direction would be needed very quickly.
Prof. Jean-Marie Dipama on his lecture
Researcher Mohammed Elfadl participating in the discussion.
Ending the day with Group works: Ecosystem service & Biodiversity
In the afternoon we continued the group work with our dear landscapes focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem services. As we got already good introduction on them, the group work got very interesting and all groups were discussing very actively. For us it nice to have some discussions and changing of views and ideas with our international group, as all the group members are from different countries from several continents.
Fatoumata & Anna