The course will introduce the students to the origin and history of social forestry. The approach implies decentralization, greater stakeholder participation, and the collaboration and coordination between central and local governments. The approach advocated that communities must be involved, given more rights and allowed greater access to forest resources in order to ensure sustainable use of the forest.
Social forestry, among others, aims at managing forests to meet the growing demand for timber, fuel wood, fodder and other non-timber forest products. Different forms of social forestry are discussed including: community forestry, farm forestry, agro forestry, urban forestry and leasehold forestry. Their differences and similarities are discussed on the basis of case studies presented by students. It is furthermore discussed how the approach of social forestry can lead to a constructive dialogue with local stakeholders, and under which conditions it can catalyse rural development.
The course provides the scientific fundamentals and concrete tools that facilitate extension in the context of forest ecosystem management (e.g. audience analysis and a selection of adequate extension methods, techniques and skills of organising and conducting meetings, preparing and delivering presentations using different media and equipment, communication of planning and evaluation techniques).