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How good is forestry education today?

Marc J. Dourojeanni 1987. How good is forestry education today? Unasylva, Rome 154
Marc J. Dourojeanni is Professor in the Faculty of Forestry Sciences of the National Agrarian
University of La Molina (Peru), and Visiting Professor in the Forestry Faculty of the University of
Toronto (Canada). This article is based on a paper presented at the IX World Forestry Congress
in Mexico City from 1 to 10 July 1985.
DENDROLOGY COURSE IN ECUADOR as broad an education as possible

This article will deal with matters relating both to formal education - university, technical and, to a
certain extent, primary and secondary - and to informal education such as training, extension and
awareness-building. Each theme will be dealt with in a general way and, consequently,
statements will not necessarily reflect the actual situation in each country. However, the most
noteworthy trends or exceptions will be mentioned. Although no references will be given, much
of the article is endorsed by the reports of the sessions of the FAO Advisory Committee on
Forestry Education and by other material kindly provided by FAO.

Current problems
Wrong educational priorities. University education, i.e. the training of professionals, is very often
seen as the first and, implicitly, the most important aspect of the various themes grouped under
the heading of forestry education.
The main issues in forestry education should be those relating to the creation of public
awareness of the social value and rational use of the sector's natural resources, through school
and university education in general and through the mass media Equally important is the effort
directed toward giving the rural labour force, through extension work, the knowledge necessary
to administer its forest resources properly. But awareness-building and extension work have
never received the interest and support they deserve from the forestry sector; instead, most
support has been given to the training of professionals, in particular university professionals.
World forestry has thus lost the chance to create the political support it so desperately needs
because, among other reasons, many of its objectives are long-term. It has also failed to
achieve its practical goals in rural areas, where the great majority of rural people continue to be
indifferent to the forest or unaware of how to draw benefits from it.
Growing imbalance between professional and technical levels. It must be acknowledged that
during the last two decades great progress has been made in achieving the objectives of
training a sufficient number of professionals and technicians and preparing them for specialized
tasks. Dozens of new forestry faculties, new graduate programmes and tens of thousands of
students and young professionals bear witness to this progress. Similarly, although in
incomparably lower proportions, more technical schools have been established; existing ones,
meanwhile, have continued to operate well. Despite this, the imbalance between university
graduates and technicians or middle-level professionals has grown, particularly, though not

solely, in the least developed countries. The most notorious imbalance occurs in Latin America,
where in 1978 there were almost three ingenieros for every technician; and this ratio has
obviously increased even more in recent years. At the opposite extreme is Africa, where the
shortage of forestry officers continues to be extraordinarily acute in many countries. In other
continents and regions there is a better balance, but with the exception of a few countries the
ratio of professionals to technicians is not appropriate. Even in developed countries foresters
with advanced academic degrees often undertake work that is more suited to medium-level
technicians, although in these cases, this is mainly a result of the lack of suitable employment at
their level.
The great objective that has not been achieved in the twentieth century is the management of
natural forests. The truth of this statement is evident in the case of tropical forests - dramatically
reduced year by year with no real benefit to anyone. But it also applies to most of the natural
forests utilized in the temperate countries, particularly in the European part of the Soviet Union
and in North America, where degradation of the forest resources is tangible. If forest resources
are as important for humanity as the foresters say, this situation should not be allowed to occur.
The economic, social and environmental importance of the world's forest heritage is not
questioned. Hence responsibility for what is happening lies with a profession which is unable to
establish better links with society. The impressive ideas about multiple use, forestry for the
people and so on have not had any significant effect either on the profession or on the
resources administered.

Forestry and conservation: Diverging paths?

Although foresters, particularly in continental Europe and Latin America, have always felt
responsible for the conservation of nature and natural resources, and although the forestry
sector in these regions is also responsible for protected areas, wildlife and sometimes even soil
and water conservation, foresters have always regarded conservation as a secondary aspect of
their profession - so much so that many of their responsibilities in this field have gradually
passed to other professionals. The substantive work that has been done in the last two decades
is more a result of individual enthusiasm than of a conscious decision taken by the forestry
sector. This attitude on the part of professional foresters has done much to reduce the social
impact of forestry in a world where environmental concern is growing rapidly.
Also increasing, however, are the problems that affect every aspect of forestry education. The
first of these is the inadequate training given to technicians, sometimes so theoretical that it
transforms them into poor replicas of university graduates. This problem is particularly serious in
Latin America. Other technicians, in particular those who carry out guard duties (forest, park and
hunting guards), usually receive training that is too short (a few months or even weeks) for them
to have enough theoretical and practical information to do their work properly. This defect is
particularly noticeable when these tasks are partly or wholly carried out by armed agencies or
police forces as, for example, in Venezuela, Peru and Brazil. It must be said, however, that the
standards of technical training in Europe, North America and most of Asia are fairly adequate.
The training of forest workers, for both forestry and forest industries, is still a worthy goal rather
than a reality in most of the developing world. The private sector has never taken an interest in
or accepted any responsibility for the cost of supplementary training for its workers

University forestry education: A delicate task

The previous criticism of the priority assigned to the training of university-level professionals as
compared with other aspects of forestry education must not be taken as a denial of its intrinsic
importance. Graduate foresters can be agents of change in society. They must recognize public
interest in the medium and long term and the aspects in which it contradicts immediate interest,
whether public or private. Their duty, not always either easy or appreciated, is to see that public
interest is always placed before immediate interest. This is one reason why it is important to
provide professional foresters with adequate training to prevent them from being content with
merely going along with the prevailing current instead of trying to change to a less destructive
Resistance to change, ingenuousness, self-sufficiency, isolation and other characteristics. There
are grounds for stating that the quality of the average professional forester is not high enough.
This is a first consequence of the enormous resistance to change of university institutions, a
resistance that is increasing throughout the world as the newest institutions imitate the
programmes and organization of the existing ones. It is sad to have to admit that forestry
university institutions are characterized not only by a lack of originality and adaptation to local
circumstances, but that they are also ingenuous, self-sufficient and extremely addicted to
theorizing. The accusation that a university is an ivory tower, isolated from the world, is much
truer than is generally admitted
No other conclusions can be drawn, unfortunately, when facts such as the following are so
widespread: programmes of study and course contents have remained practically unchanged
during the last 20 years despite impressive scientific and technological advances and, above all,
despite the environmental, population, energy and economic crisis shaking the planet. The
university, home of advanced human thought, has not redefined the role of forestry and hence
its own future role. New courses in economics and, especially, in social sciences - about which
there has been so much talk during the last three decades - have not been introduced The
"foresters" who are developing the virgin lands of Amazonia have never attended a single
lesson on the dwellers of the region; young African foresters know nothing about the tribal life
that continues, openly or hidden, in forest areas. Foresters working in a developing country
know only those agricultural or rural realities in the country that they themselves have observed,
out of personal interest and initiative. The words "agrarian reform" continue to seem alien and
even subversive. Shifting cultivation, which transforms the tropical forests into smoke, continues
to be regarded as an uncontrollable "plague", like goats, and not an essential subject for
academic work on the social aspects of forestry.
Academic ingenuousness is shown in the idea, so common among academic staff, that
scientific research is free of political overtones and compromising motives; however, a gigantic
portion of the budgetary cake and of research workers' time is devoted to research that serves
essentially to enable a few people to make more money, while providing ever fewer jobs. In
addition, because it does not have its own funding, most university research is for sale to the
highest bidder, i.e. usually large industry. A university should ask itself which social sectors it is
serving It must know whether it is serving society as a whole or whether the service it provides
is to meet risky immediate interests instead of widespread and permanent social interests.

The imbalance between university graduates and technicians or middle-level professionals has


The environment again. Environmental problems, so deservedly in fashion since the 1960s,
have led, especially in North America, to the creation of a few new - although in most cases,
short-lived - courses. Forestry faculties in North America are usually satisfied with the
environmental content of their programmes, as are forestry faculties in Europe, but with less
reason. In Eastern Europe particularly, the environmental content of courses usually consists
merely of touching on traditional aspects of ecology as applied to silviculture and management,
with a passing reference to recreation and hunting for sport. This is obviously an extraordinarily
limited vision of the environmental problem in today's world. Presumably the devastation
wrought by acid rain in European forests is changing this attitude.
The author has seen some curricula in which the term forest ecology either does not exist, or if it
does, it refers essentially to the physical factors of the environment. But there are exceptions:
forestry faculties may even have conservation departments which provide a whole range of
obligatory and optional courses on the management of natural areas; integrated rural
development; agroforestry; wildlife management; pollution in rural areas; soil conservation; and
watershed management. These are offered in addition to the traditional ecological content of
courses such as silviculture or forest management.
WOOD TECHNOLOGY LAB IN PERU too many foresters, too few technicians?
Forest management again. Universities always offer one or two courses in forest management
as part of a wide range of courses concerned with management. But, oddly enough, the courses
in forest management are usually weak in content and structure. Therefore, universities may
produce excellent photo-interpreters or inventorists or silviculturists or even geneticists or
pathologists. Yet this only helps to create absurd situations as, for example, when enormous
sums are spent on making a detailed inventory of tropical forests that will be destroyed by
shifting agriculture before they can be utilized or which, in the best of cases, will be logged
without any plan. Another example, very common in the rich countries of the north, is to seek to
remedy management errors or deficiencies with pesticides and other poisons.
It is also worrying to note a growing tendency to separate and isolate training in forest industries
in specializations that should be given only at postgraduate level. Forest management and
silviculture are key elements in the training of any forester worthy of the name. When the
"forester" in charge of an industry is unaware of or forgets the goals and limitations of sustained
production, he or she becomes a dangerous enemy of good forestry and of medium and longterm social interests. The mere transfer of logging from the sphere of management to that of
industries was enough to produce negative repercussions. Logging is much more the
culmination of management than the first stage in industry. Errors in this delicate operation can
compromise the future of a forest for decades. Logging must return to the sphere of forest
management but, more important, close and harmonious relations must always be maintained
between the two complementarities of the profession: management and industries.
On the quality of education. The quality of university forestry education, in the strict sense,
should not have declined in the rich countries but it is, however, falling off lamentably in all the
developing countries affected by the economic crisis. The main effect of the crisis, apart from a

shortage of material means, is the loss of qualified teachers, both in numbers and in effective
dedication to teaching. How could it be otherwise when in only three or four years their salaries
have fallen, in real value, by as much as 30 percent? Most university lecturers in Latin America
are paid less than US$ 300 a month; they devote themselves to other activities to survive.
Another cause of deterioration in the quality of education is, obviously, the explosive
proliferation of forestry faculties in countries where human and economic resources barely
suffice for one or two. In addition, many of these faculties are in universities set up solely to
satisfy subordinate regional interests. The most contradictory situation occurs in Latin America,
where idiosyncrasy and prevailing conditions lead everyone to seek a university degree. Hence
the extraordinary shortage of technicians.
Also associated with the concept of quality is the number of professionals trained. In developed
countries with a free economy, as in Latin America in general, the supply of professional
foresters undoubtedly exceeds the real demand, and there are growing legions of unemployed
or underemployed foresters. In the socialist countries, where university entry is controlled, the
balance is better. In Africa there is an acute shortage of professionals, particularly locally trained
ones. The growing number of Latin American professional foresters is associated with an
evident deterioration in quality, which will become much worse before the end of the century.
In assessing how many professionals are required, the indices used by FAO and other
international organizations have not been taken into account because they are both
economically optimistic and unrealizable. These indices, which concern the number of
professionals and technicians per thousand hectares of forest, need to be revised or changed. It
must also be recognized that women are occupying a growing percentage of places in
universities - one of the most notable positive developments.
A negative aspect of the training of professional foresters, particularly in the developing
countries, is the lack of practical work in forests and industries. Because of the high cost of
maintaining students and their teachers in the forest, the indispensable contact with reality has
been reduced to a minimum (frequently less than two months during the entire course) and in
some cases, is non-existent, limited to visits to nurseries, forests and industries without any
academic work in these places.
Another partly connected problem peculiar to the developing countries is that professionals,
including even the youngest ones, prefer to work in towns. If, forced by circumstances, they find
themselves near a forest, they avoid entering it, taking refuge in offices or venturing only as far
as cross-country vehicles will go. It is as though they have no vocation, which may, in truth, be
another part of the explanation. The main goal of professionalization is usually social prestige,
and the second, concomitant with this, is to earn more money. It is a sad but incontrovertible
fact that urban foresters have better salaries and opportunities than foresters in the field, who
are frequently forgotten.

In Africa, the shortage of forestry officers continues to be extraordinarily acute in many


FAO-SUPPLIED SURVEYING INSTRUMENTS research must address social needs

Postgraduate education. The postgraduate training of foresters at the doctorate or master's level
has also changed during the last decade, particularly in Latin America. There are more
programmes, more specialized fields and undoubtedly considerable increases in the proportion
of students and graduates. The graduate students are usually of better quality than the
professionals, but suffer from more or less the same tendencies. However, they do usually take
subjects such as the environment or economic and social matters more seriously. There are
proportionately more unemployed foresters than before with advanced degrees in North
America, Latin America and Asia, while in Africa there is a big shortage proportionate to that of
professional foresters. In Europe, most of those studying for doctorates are already working in
the forestry sector and their training does not necessarily imply creating new jobs.

Identifying the priority subjects

During the twentieth century forestry has concentrated on meeting the demands for raw material
of an industry that is essentially geared to meeting the demands - sometimes exacerbated by
consumerism - of the richest. That is why there has been so much progress in silviculture and
industrial processes and comparatively little progress in aspects of forestry that are equally or
more important. It is as though foresters, who previously aimed at long-term social interests,
had shortened their sights as they shortened the rotations of pines, poplars and eucalypts. This
concern with immediate objectives, which is not reprehensible in itself, nevertheless entails
enormous risks for the world's forest heritage and for society in the next century. The day is
already approaching when the much vaunted but little considered "indirect" benefits of the forest
will be given the place they deserve. In other words, the services of the forest will be as valuable
as the goods it produces, if not more so.
This change can already be felt; it is expressed through, among other things, the renewed
interest in firewood, agroforestry and other areas. At the same time there is growing realization
in urban areas of the harmful consequences of the present disregard of the ecological functions
of forests and other wooded areas. This is evidenced by the "green" or "ecological" parties and
also by the unrestrainable development of non-governmental organizations. These and other
factors will make it necessary to take steps to give forestry a much stronger social content and
also to restore the idea of long-term effort and broad criteria. In summary, it is probable that
forestry in the future will be geared more to the needy social sectors and ruled less by
conventional economic theories. It will undoubtedly be a more politicized activity, in the best
sense of the word.
In this context, what subjects will have priority in forestry and forest education? There will
probably be a decided bias toward the generation of services. With regard to the production of
goods, there will be more insistence on goods that serve rural social interests or which provide
more social benefits, such as jobs, through the production of goods for the rich. This will result
in areas of action such as those discussed in the following paragraphs.
Afforestation and reforestation with quick-growing species, as well as management of
established stands, will continue to be important because such stands will undoubtedly have to
provide ever-increasing proportions of raw materials to meet industrial demand. But this activity
must be seen in the right dimension, i.e. as one area of forestry, not its essence. If stands are
established on land already deprived of natural forests, they obviously help to relieve the
pressure on the remaining forests. However, a growing proportion of the plantations will not be
used for industry, but will serve to supply the rural poor directly with fuelwood and charcoal, with

feed for their livestock and food for themselves. Reforestation and watershed management will
also have much more importance than at present.
If rural development is to be really integrated, no aspect of forestry can be ignored, least of all
those relating to services such as the regulation of water flow, water quality and the prevention
and control of wind and water erosion. Foresters have so far been unable or unwilling to "sell" or
"lend" assistance in this field. In the few cases that they have, they have done so timidly, either
getting around or - all too often - deceiving rural development planners. In the future forestry
must act as the protagonist of sustained rural development on land unsuitable for agriculture.
The management of natural forests must resume its importance in the production of both goods
and services. As time passes the production of goods will become less important than the
generation of services, but this is still many decades away. The battle for the management of
the natural forests that still exist will be hard and long, but is essential if the forests are to
survive. It will be essentially a political battle, and it will be lost in advance if foresters do not
consider it necessary.
Closely linked is the need to avoid both the destruction of forests and the turning of land suitable
for forestry to other uses, particularly in the humid and dry tropics. Forestry must act openly and
energetically in this matter, adding its voice to that of other concerned sectors rather than
dissimulating or minimizing it, as has too often happened. Tropical foresters will have to find
ways of managing and utilizing the hundreds of millions of hectares of secondary forests
created by the expansion of the agricultural frontier. These are being wasted at present, yet they
could make an effective contribution to keeping rural people on the land and improving their
living conditions.
Forestry will have to take much more seriously the need to establish more national parks and
other protected areas, and above all to bring them under effective management. This is
important not only because these areas, almost completely untapped, are acquiring increasing
scientific, recreational and economic value, but also because if all other measures for
preventing destruction of the forest resources fail, they will be the only natural forests left.
Control of desertification and watershed management, two areas in which little has been
achieved so far, will acquire increasing importance.
Forest industry will continue along its present lines, but two more or less new branches will
probably emerge: small local industries, using appropriate technology, to meet local demands
and also, through adequate storage, to supply external markets; and the wood-chemical
industries. There should be an enormous development of the latter as a result of the energy
crisis, based on sources of raw material such as quick-growing plantations or, in the humid
tropics, secondary natural forests, waste from the mechanical wood industry, and possibly the
primary natural forests (although this might seriously endanger their survival). Moreover,
chemical industries based on biomass can provide alcohol, plastic, animal feed and many other
types of chemical substances.
Wildlife management, which has lost so much status among foresters that they have practically
nothing to do with it even though wildlife is a forest resource, must be restored to its rightful
importance. This is primarily because of the contribution that wildlife makes to the food supply of
the rural poor in areas under forest administration. Secondly, it constitutes a genetic resource of

great scientific value. And finally, it is a source of recreation and the mainstay of the tourist
industry in many countries.
The explosive growth in urban areas will lead to the consolidation of a relatively new aspect of
forestry. The inhabitants of the big cities, in particular the poor, know "nature" and can enjoy it
only in the urban parks or in the patches of woodland that survive or are planted there. There
are already millions of people who depend on urban forestry to satisfy many of their needs and
desires. This is obviously a branch of forestry substantially different from all the others.
UNIVERSITY FORESTRY BUILDING IN PESHAWAR how many new schools are needed?
The rediscovery of agroforestry and the new prospects it affords mean that this is another
subject area to be taken into account in the near future, in particular, although not exclusively, in
the developing countries.
Finally, mention must be made of the growing need to manage and utilize the forest gene
resources both to increase the productivity of plantations and to serve agriculture. In this
connection, in situ conservation will play an increasingly important role.

General order of priorities

The subjects covered in this article must all receive some attention by the forestry sector.
However, in the light of discussions the order of priorities needs to be changed.
Political action. A top priority is that the forestry sector, at both the global and national levels,
stop acting incoherently and weakly in terms of politics. It should lay down objectives, goals,
strategies and tactics that will bring it closer to the society it claims to serve and enable it to
suggest steps to be taken, knowing that it will be listened to and supported, and that the
necessary political decisions will be taken. To do this the following are possible:
planned use of the mass media;
recognition of, participation with and encouragement of the non-governmental organizations
linked to the sector;
inclusion of new courses and adaptation of existing ones to provide training on the use of
renewable natural resources and on environmental policy; preparation of teachers in these
areas for primary and secondary schools;
inclusion of new courses or adaptation of existing ones to provide information on
environmental policy to all university students, whatever courses they are following.
Few forest services and even fewer forest sectors conduct planned and sustained action to
inform the public about forestry problems. There are some public relations offices, but they have
almost no impact. The potential for mass communication is now so enormous that it is a real
waste not to capitalize on it. So little attention is paid to this possibility that even those
responsible for the information media who are attracted by the subject of forestry have come
away empty-handed and with an accumulation of resentment against the forest services or
other agencies in the sector whom they have approached for assistance.

There are many non-governmental organizations directly or indirectly linked to the sector. Up
until now, however, the public sector's relationship with them has been more antagonistic than
complementary. In addition, many professional forestry associations are very "clubby", reflecting
certain conceptual defects that al ready saturate forestry education and the forestry sector they
largely conduct. However, these and other non-governmental organizations, which affect public
opinion and/or politicians - in the corridors, as advisers to opposition parties, or even in
organizing political activities - will be the main shapers of political action in the future. Foresters
must recognize and take full advantage of this new opportunity.
In various countries and in various ways, primary, secondary and university education has
already been imbued with practical knowledge about the use and the global importance of the
natural resources, particularly renewable ones. Thousands of teachers have been or are being
prepared in these subjects in Chile and Venezuela and various secondary education courses to
transmit this knowledge are being developed. Such information explains, for example, why the
Peruvian sea came to lose its riches, the causes and effects of shifting cultivation in the tropical
forests, soil erosion in the Andes and ways of avoiding it, etc. At university level the forestry
faculties in some Peruvian universities provide a required basic course in these subjects for all
students. The course is extremely successful: it has been held for ten years and is now widely
Forestry extension in rural areas. In urban areas the spread of information is necessary to
create awareness and achieve appropriate political action. In rural areas awareness is also
necessary but practical technical skills for managing the renewable natural resources that each
rural family or group possesses are more vital. This requires forestry extension work, similar in
all respects to the comparatively much more developed agricultural extension work, but nearly
always relegated to the background.
Forestry extension must be a main priority in the future. It may be either under the direct
responsibility of professional or technical-level foresters in the areas of major forestry
importance (because they have abundant resources or because these have been destroyed), or
combined with agricultural extension when forestry resources are not very significant. But it is
always needed, even in areas of intensive irrigated farming. Universities and technical schools
must teach extension techniques, and foresters must prepare ad hoc training programmes for
agricultural extension workers. In addition to its intrinsic importance, forestry extension has
enormous potential for creating jobs for professional foresters.
Training of technicians. This must be given absolute priority in Latin America and must continue
to receive great attention in Africa, Asia and the rest of the world. The main recommendation is
that the forest technician should complement and not compete with the professional forester.
Training consequently should have a practical emphasis and be fairly short, within reason.
Study programmes should be closely geared to local conditions.
Training of workers. Vocational training in both forestry and forest industries needs to be greatly
reinforced in the developing countries, but particularly in Africa and Latin America. Training
schools should continue to be developed and, in addition, the old procedure of "master and
apprentices" institutionalized, at least in the big firms. This is particularly applicable to industries.
Training of professional foresters. Although requiring comparatively less attention, this aspect
continues to be top priority for Africa, where countries must make every effort, with full

international support, to establish and develop more forestry faculties or other university-level
forestry education centres.
In the rest of the world the problem in the future will be of quality rather than quantity, the latter
already being satisfied by existing or planned education centres. At postgraduate level each
continent, region and even country should have its own graduate schools, without detriment to
the necessary international exchange of experiences.
Refresher training. In comparison with other sectors, great progress in this has been made in
recent decades thanks to the action of numerous international agencies and of countries
themselves. However, it is still not enough, and refresher training received abroad has often
been distorted by personal interests. Some officers are now overtrained for the tasks they
perform while others, less influential, have not enjoyed these opportunities and yet are usually
the real potential targets for such training.

Toward a more humanistic forestry

In order to carry out its many complex responsibilities, the forestry profession should acquire a
series of characteristics that it has either lost or never possessed. These should mark all facets
of forestry education, particularly the training of professional foresters.
Consequently, programmes of study need to be revised in order to make room for new courses
or include new chapters or approaches in existing courses. Better knowledge of social
circumstances in the country, particularly in rural areas, is essential if the people's interests are
to be interpreted. Sociological studies should be complemented by detailed knowledge of
anthropology, ethnology and even agrarian history.
But the humanistic components of the profession should not be limited to this. A moral
reassessment is also necessary. Forestry and its long-term objectives constitute a kind of
apostleship whose message is accepted by populations only if it is conducted wholeheartedly,
forcefully and with real faith.
To serve rural development it is necessary to study and understand it. Too often foresters know
nothing about agriculture, their closest and most aggressive competitor for land. This is a
serious error which can be corrected only by special courses of a general nature, illustrating
both the potential conflicts but above all the possibilities for integration between agriculture and
forestry. Foresters must also know something about land use and rural development planning in
order to be able to work in harmony with agroforestry, watershed management, management of
natural forests and protected areas, and wildlife management. The forestry contribution to
community development, through plantations for fuelwood or fodder, agroforestry, or the
management of secondary forests on fallow land, plays a particular role in this long line of
Forest economics must incorporate long-range planning. Economics with a capital E must be
developed and taught, not just conventional economics which, with a clear conscience, rejects
as " uneconomic" so many really important projects only because it is unable or unwilling to
evaluate the services they provide. Economics must evaluate forest resources for what they are
and not keep trying to force them to conform with rules made for a consumer society which, at
least in its present version, will probably be unable to continue in existence.

Foresters must learn more about planning as a tool for integrated rural development, the
management of forests and natural areas, and conservation of the sector's resources. Land-use
planning is a very suitable sphere for intervention by foresters.
Giving forestry a more human face is a task which university education must take on,
particularly at undergraduate level; it must be included in the programme of studies of the
aspiring ingenieros or, in the British system, of the B.Sc. students. This can undoubtedly be
done without increasing the total number of courses or of class hours, or reducing field work - all
of which are undesirable. There will obviously be fewer hours of lectures in traditional courses,
but specialists must be trained afterwards, at postgraduate level.
The scientific and technological challenge will be taken up in advanced degree courses. It is at
this level that emphasis will be put on the necessary measures to direct, for example, the new
chemical processing industries or to manage natural forests, soils, wildlife or protected areas. It
is also where people will continue to be trained to make better use of forest gene resources to
increase the productivity of plantations.

This article may be interpreted as an unfair criticism of the role of education within the forestry
sector. However, it is not enough to be content with the progress achieved. It is our
responsibility to be critical and to reflect, as well as to plan ahead. Successes must be put aside
in order to think about what has not yet been done and what could be done better.