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George Campus

14/06/2013

NMMU students in Forestry are again taking the lead in presenting an international symposium at the George Campus during the winter recess. Between 40 and 50 delegates are expected to attend this niche event aimed at the forest industry.

Members of the student-driven Saasveld Forestry Association (SFA), who also serve on the International Forestry Student Association (IFSA), together with their international counterparts, have put together an interesting programme for the 2nd Southern African Regional Meeting (SARM) of IFSA. 

The IFSA SARM takes the form of a four day symposium to be hosted at the NMMU George Campus from 24 to 27 June 2013. The theme of the symposium is “innovative Forestry Land Use” and the programme includes presentations and discussions by academics, industry specialists and representatives of the IFSA Local Committee (LC). Most of the discussions will be focussed on new forestry land ownership skills and capacity, challenges and threats of small scale forestry enterprises in South Africa, as well as innovative ideas and tools for the forestry and wood technology industry to adapt to current conditions.

A field trip during which indigenous and plantation forestry areas in the region will be visited with Silviculture, research plots, environmental and conservation matters in mind, is scheduled for 26 June.

Industry stalwarts who have accepted invitations to participate as speakers at the symposium include Mr Rodger Godsmark from Forestry SA and Mr Roy Southey who represents Sawmilling SA, as well as academics and external experts in the field of forestry and Silviculture, such as NMMU’s Drs Keith Little and Jaap Steenkamp; Myles Mander (Consultant in Environmental Economics) and Cori Ham (Lecturer at Stellenbosch University).

Delegates to the symposium include senior and postgraduate students in Forestry from neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, as well as from Europe.  

“NMMU is delighted at the opportunity to again host this globally significant event. The forestry industry faces numerous challenges, which the current student generation will have to help manage. They will have to contribute to a new green economy internationally. Symposiums such as the IFSA SARM highlight the fact that the new generation forestry student is indeed being equipped for employability and ready to make a critical contribution to the forest industry on a global platform”, concluded Prof Jos Louw, Director of the NMMU Faculty of Science’s School of Natural Resource Management, located at the George Campus.

Photograph: Sikhumbuzo Nxumalo (left, NMMU master’s student in Forestry) and Council member of IFSA, with fellow Council member, Jennifer Schuchmann from the University of TU München in Germany (second from left). Jennifer visited NMMU George recently to, amongst others, participate in a planning session and meetings with the George-based IFSA team. They are accompanied here by NMMU Forestry student, Tatenda Mapeto (IFSA LO Committee), and Kutelani Tshivhase, IFSA Forest Education Commissioner and co-organiser of the IFSA SARM. Mapeto and Tshivhase are both enrolled for a master’s degree in Forestry at the George Campus. 

Contact information
Ms Alet van Tonder
Manager: Marketing & Corporate Relations
Tel: 27 44 801 5098
alet.vantonder@mandela.ac.za