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IFSA - the International Forestry Students' Association

IFSA is a non political, non religious and non for profit organisation that has developed in the last 35 years to its current status as a worldwide organisation bringing together forestry students from all over the world in a wide spectrum of activities.

Our vision

is for global cooperation among students of forest sciences in order to broaden knowledge and understanding to achieve a sustainable future for our forests, and to provide a voice for youth in international forest policy processes.

Our mission

is to provide a platform for students of forest sciences to enrich their formal education, promote cultural understanding by encouraging collaboration with international partner organisations and to gain practical experiences with a wider and more global perspective. Through its network, IFSA encourages student meetings, enables participation in scientific debates, and supports the involvement of youth in decision making processes and international forest and environmental policy. See also IFSA's Strategy

Our members and partnerships

IFSA's members are generally local associations of forestry students but can also be individuals persons (students or not). See also: IFSA's membership.

IFSA achieves its goals by organising extracurricular activities which promote exchange of experiences and information between students. Those activities take place in International Forestry Students’ Symposiums (IFSS), seminars, several working groups called commissions, publications,etc. See also:IFSA's activities.

IFSA also maintains excellent partnerships with international forest related organisations like IUFRO, EFI, CFA but also many others international students' associations. See also:IFSA partners


It all began in Great Britain in 1973 with an annual meeting of forestry students: the International Forestry Students Symposium (IFSS). The event was held there for thirteen years and the goal was to provide forestry students with a platform where they could meet their counterparts from other countries, discuss their ideas and views and create an atmosphere of solidarity and inspiration. During the following years the symposium attracted more and more students.

The first accomplishment of these meetings was the creation of INFOCENTER; an office established to co-ordinate the exchange of information among forestry students. During the 18th IFSS in Lisbon, Portugal in 1990, the participants decided to expand the co-operation between forestry students beyond the annual symposium. At the constitutional assembly of IFSA, the founding member associations approved provisional statutes and elected the first representative organs. INFOCENTER was relocated and took on the official role as IFSA's communicative and informational organ. The following year, the 19th IFSS was organised in the Netherlands. This symposium turned out to be a great success with 112 participants from 38 countries; it was the first time that students from all continents were represented. The following symposium was organised in Italy (1992). Here the third General Assembly (GA) designated a central organ, the Secretariat, to be responsible for the association's bureaucratic tasks, internal communications and all INFOCENTER duties. The Secretariat, thus, fully assumed its role as IFSA headquarters.

IFSA became a truly world-wide organisation when the new statutes were finally approved in 1994 at the fifth GA during the 22nd IFSS in Switzerland. The association was officially registered as a charity organisation with its seat in Göttingen, Germany.

Five years later, with the adoption of the revised Statutes, Decrees and By-laws, the general assembly moved the seat to Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.