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- Category: IFSA People
- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 17:44
- Written by Mihail Hanzu / Romania
I have to say that the idea send by Vera in an email few weeks ago has attracted my full attention.
I know, from my experience, that the most of the active IFSA members do not have time to read memories from the “old guys”, therefore I will write this as a short letter. Even so, I have to write some facts that might be considered less relevant by some readers. The paragraphs that I consider less relevant will be written using italic.
The idea of putting together nice, interesting and perhaps useful facts from the period when alumni generations were active in IFSA is an outstanding idea in order to offer a clue for the future IFSA members about what IFSA activity involves or involved. Further on I will introduce myself and write some ideas referring at organizing a meeting and promoting IFSA.
I, the writer of these lines, am Mihail Hanzu. I am from Romania and our student organization from the “Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering” from Braşov, named Forestry Student´s Organization SILVA, (OSS SILVA) was, according to my knowledge, since 1999 an ordinary IFSA member. During my IFSA active period 2004-2007, our Local Committee (LC) managed to organize two IFSA meetings, one in 2005 and another in 2007.
The meeting from September 2005 was a rather a sub-regional meeting since our financer, our faculty, did not agreed to pay for students coming from a more western country, geographically speaking, than Slovakia. The participants were from more than 10 countries, as I remember, mainly from the Balkan region. The second meeting from May 2007 was the SERM (South Europe Regional Meeting), with participants spread from Portugal, Azores Islands to be more precise, to Greece from more than 14 countries, as I remember.
But how did we manage to get in contact with the participants?
Well, from my experience, the best way to do it is by attending meetings, regional or the mighty IFSS. For our first meeting, I and another colleague attended the SERM organized in 2004 by the LC from Belgrade in Serbia and Montenegro. During that SERM bonds have been created that are lasting till today. It is the best way because the other IFSA colleagues, during these meetings, can really see who the organizers of the next meeting are. Later, when emails will be send world widely, on ifsaworld mailing list, regarding a future meeting to be attended it will be not just a name that’s sending the email.
Yes, but in this way only already active IFSA members can attend the future IFSA meetings! And IFSA should try to expand in order to improve the non-formal education of the future foresters of the world!
For promoting IFSA, we have tried in two ways. First, whenever I or any other active member of our LC attended an international conference, summer school or another meeting, we explained to some of the participating students about what great professional life experience IFSA is. Further on, when our LC or another LC was organizing an IFSA meeting we told them that the meeting will be held.
Another option, but from personal experience less effective, is to use the contacts of the professors with other universities. For a reason that eludes me, this rather official way of promoting IFSA activities in a region is not as effective as the first one.
The participants at a meeting are coming from different cultures, climates, education systems and so on; therefore the organizers cannot foresee all the potential difficulties that the participants might experience during a meeting. For this reason the organizers of an IFSA meeting should ensure the participants that THERE IS NO “STUPID” QUESTION.
By the way, this exceptional diversity of the IFSA members is one of the facts that are making it so outstanding. Although there is a colossal diversity there is also an obvious unity of the IFSA people, perhaps because all of them are foresters.
The next thing about what I will write here is the timing. The one, who’s organizing a meeting, should take great care not just for not overlapping two IFSA meetings, which you might say is obvious, but at the same time to the exams, field practice and other school related activities of the potential participants at the meeting. Therefore asking as many as possible of your contacts before setting a date for a meeting might prove quite wise.
The last thing I want to say is that being an IFSA member and attending IFSA events without organizing a meeting, gives you only half of what the IFSA is all about, and I do not know if one half is better than the other since I enjoyed them both, but I know for sure that having both of them is the optimum solution.
Long live IFSA!
Mihail HANZU, PhD
Semper Silva Proiect SRL
21, Lînii, Sibiu, 550019
- Category: Milestones of IFSA
- Published on Friday, 11 May 2012 22:07
- Written by Ping-Lian Wu / Taiwan
Sometimes we just have to do it.
2008 January, half year after the IFSS in South Africa (2007), I established a IFSA LC established in Taiwan, NTUFSA-National Taiwan University Foretry Students' Association.
I still remember, there were less than 5 participants in those LC activities we organized in the first year. I still remember, IFSS has strongly influenced my classmates, Yu-Tang Tsai, and we worked together for 3 years in this LC until I graduated. I still remember and will never forget that, NTUFSA was the organizer of 1st Asian Regional Meeting in 2010. I can say, NTUFSA will keep motivating younger Taiwanese forestry students to explore their world thought attending and organizing IFSA events.
When I look back the recent developement of IFSA, 2008-2010 were the "golden" years of IFSA Asian region. When NTUFSA was established in January 2008, it was just about the time that Asia became more and more active. In the same year, there were 4 new members from Asia (three from South Korea and one from Japan) joined IFSA. At the following two years, IFSS were taking place in Indonesia (2009) and South Korea (2010). There were countless friendship, networking, and memory were created across the country borders.
IFSA events in Asian region could not be as frequent as IFSA European events due to the geological restriction. Luckily, with the support form all those active Asian Regional Representatives, Asian members keep in contact with each other by emails exchange and other virtual communication in most of the time. Since 2010 spring, Asian Regional Meetings (ARM) provide IFSA Asian members an unforgettable week every year. The first ARM was took place in Taiwan and the second ARM was organized by IFSA-Kyoto (Japan). In May 2012, ARM takes place in the beautiful city, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
2008 was a milestone year for IFSA because of the development of Asian region. This milestone was accumulated by new establishing members, IFSS and Asian Regional Meetings. I feel myself lucky and honored that I participated in it.