The International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) is an incredibly diverse organization that unites students of forestry/forestry-related sciences from every corner of the globe. IFSA’s 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.
IFSA’s 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.
IFSA also maintains excellent partnerships with international forest related organizations which include the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), the European Forestry Institute (EFI), the Commonwealth Forestry Association (CFA), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Informal Forum of International Student Organizations (IFISO), the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). It works with these organizations to offer students opportunities to get involved in the professional world of forestry. These organisations are also provided with access to the largest collective potential workforce/ thinking body of forestry students.
IFSA is open to forestry students from all academic levels and offers a wide array of opportunities and activities. It coordinates social, professional and educational meetings amongst its members, arranges internship prospects, provides professional training, and allows students to get involved in international processes.
It is strictly a student-run association; all activities and meetings are solely organized and managed by students. In this sense students who take on official positions within the IFSA gain a stupendous amount of experience in being involved with such a professional, multinational organization.
IFSA organizes an annual symposium for its members which takes place in a different country each year. Students come from all over the world to take part in the memorable two week event in which they get a forestry-focused tour around the country. The most recent symposium occurred in Turkey; it will be in British Columbia, Canada in the begininning of August, 2014.
Katie Gibson is Vice President of the IFSA and can be reached at [email protected].