PRESS RELEASE OF THE 49th INTERNATIONAL FORESTRY STUDENTS’ SYMPOSIUM (IFSS)

WEEK 1 – Day 1, Saturday, 24th July 2021, “Forest and Québec”

Opening Ceremony

(Figure 1. Opening speech from Pierre Dufour. Source: Delegate documentation)

The 49th IFSS was held online from 24th July until 8th August 2021 through Zoom Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was organized by Association des Étudiants de Foresterie et d’Environnement de l’Université Laval (AFEUL) or the Forestry Students’ Association of Laval University (ULaval IFSA). More than 50 participants from seven regions attended the Online IFSS. They came from Asia-Pacific, Northern America, Latin America, Southern Europe, Northern Europe, Northern Africa, and Southern Africa. This year, IFSA LC UGM sent two delegates to attend this meeting. They were Dewanti Uma Rahmaningtyas (Silviculture 2021) and Rizka Afif Muhammad (Forest Management 2021).

On the first day of the 49th IFSS, we had an opening session with Pierre Dufour on behalf of the Québec Government. He presented a speech both in English and in French, stating that some innovations are done to help resolve the plastic waste problem in Canada and that the forestry sector is considered one of the most important sectors in Canada. The second speech was from Nancy Gélinas. She stated that young researchers are essential as they are full of ideas to create a better future. Events such as IFSS become important to be held so that more innovations or solutions can come to life.

The third speech came from John Parotta from IUFRO, then followed with a short speech by Alina Lehikoinen, the Outgoing President of IFSA for the term 2020/2021. Alina gave an encouraging speech that IFSA is not only about traveling, but IFSA is also about the people. Despite the condition, IFSA is able to build a community, and that is what matters most. The last and final speech was from the Organizing Committee (OC) President of the 49th IFSS, Vincent Duquette-Rivard. He said that the Online IFSS may not have the same energy as the offline one, but the OCs are happy to welcome everyone to this event.

 

A Presentation about Forest and Québec

(Figure 2. A presentation about forests and Québec. Source: Delegate documentation)

In the second session, we had a presentation on forest and Québec by Alexis Achim, lecturer of Laval University, who also teaches Fundamental of Forestry. He took us on an explanation of why ecosystem-based management is crucial and how it is being implemented in Canada. Alexis stated that each region or location of the forest has different characteristics. It is important to be able to implement ecosystem-based management. This method abides by the principles that the best way to meet conflicting demands of society for healthy forest ecosystems and wood products is to ensure that management strategies, silvicultural treatments, and forest operations will help the forest tend towards its natural state. To reach this, an important component of ecosystem management is to understand the natural disturbance regime, and then attempt to emulate it as much as possible. At the end of his presentation, Alexis introduced us to his project, SILVA21. It is a project that combines technology for the advancement of forest management.

 

Icebreaker and Workshop “Your Forest of Tomorrow”

(Figure 3. Workshop presentation. Source: Delegate documentation)

After a short coffee break, the participants gather back in the Zoom Meeting room to continue the agenda. The participants were then divided into groups using breakout rooms and asked to introduce themselves as forest elements. The participants were allowed to talk about random things other than IFSA as a way to bond with each other. After that, we were called to gather back in the main room for the last session of the first day. In the last session, we were divided into a new group to discuss the ideal forest in response to climate change. There were six groups in total. We did the workshop through jam board and Mentimeter. At the end of the session, each group was then asked to present the result of their discussion for 2 minutes. It was a fun experience to get to know each other through a series of activities we had on the first day!

 

WEEK 1 – Day 2, Sunday, 25th July 2021, “GA Session 1”

Rules of Procedure (RoPs)

(Figure 4. Presentation on the RoPs. Source: Delegate documentation)

The next day, we attended the second day of the 49th IFSS. This day was also known as the first day of the General Assembly (GA) as every second day of the week or block is dedicated to the GA of IFSA. The day was divided into two sessions, the first one dedicated to discussing the rules of procedures (RoPs) of this GA. In this session, Alina Lehikoinen, Outgoing President of IFSA, took us on a brief explanation about the new RoPs. We were also given the complete documents so we could check them out by ourselves.

 

Commission Proposals

(Figure 5. Presentation on the commission proposals. Source: Delegate documentation)

Then, in the second session, we focused on the Commission Proposals. In this session, we were told about the status of the commissions in IFSA. Some sub-commissions were added, merged, or discontinued to ensure that the commission or sub-commission runs smoothly and effectively. This session was also led by Alina Lehikoinen. The presentation was then followed by a few questions and answers regarding the discussed topic.

 

WEEK 1 – Day 3, Monday, 26th July 2021, “Conservation and Stakes”

Kahoot and Presentation on Carbon and Forest

(Figure 6. Presentation on carbon. Source: Delegate documentation)

On 26th July 2021, we attended the third day of the 49th IFSS. In the first session, the participants led by the OC played a Kahoot game about Canada and Climate Change. The questions were about the forestry sector in Canada and how climate change affects the future of the forest sector there. In the middle of each question, there will be an explanation or fun fact for the previous question. Sometimes the statement had implicit clues to the answer. The winner of this Kahoot game was Alina Lehikoinen from Finland.

 

Field Trips #1 Montmorency Forest

(Figure 7. Field trip to Montmorency Forest. Source: Delegate documentation)

Next, we had a short virtual field trip to Montmorency Forest. Here, the OC presented a capsule (short video) of the forest. This forest serves an educational purpose for forestry students in Laval University and researchers in Québec or all over Canada. Several kinds of research have been conducted there. One of the people conducting research there is Evelyn Thiffault, Associate Professor at Laval University, whose research was about carbon storage and sequestration in the forest stands. Though only in the form of a short video, the field trip gave us a peek at what a tundra ecosystem looks like. The capsule explained why research and tangible actions are crucial to tackling climate change.

 

Activity Field Trips and Field Trips #1 Hike in the Forest

(Figure 8. Hike in the forest capsule. Source: Delegate documentation)

After the field trip, we had a group activity about field trips. Before being divided into group and breakout rooms, the OC presented a short and quick presentation filled with pictures of their field activities. Each followed with an anecdote or a funny story behind the photo of their field trips experiences in Canada. After being divided into breakout groups, we told each other stories of our field trips. Some showed funny pictures or told absurd and astonishing things, and others told shocking stories that led to lucky coincidences. It was entertaining to hear memorable moments from each of the participants. To close the day, the OC presented another capsule on hiking in the forest during winter. In winter, they can easily create a small bonfire from birch twigs as it contains natural oil. Natural oil makes it flammable or easy to burn.

 

.•° ✿ °•.

 

WEEK 2 – Day 4, Friday, 30th July 2021, “Forestry and Transformation”

Kahoot and Field Trips #2 Forest Operations

(Figure 9. Third capsule on forest operations. Source: Delegate documentation)

On the fourth day of the 49th IFSS, we had another Kahoot game about forest operations in Québec, Canada. After that, we had a capsule about forest operation and an interview with Groupe Lebel. Groupe Lebel is one of the leading forest producers in Eastern Canada. For Groupe Lebel, quality is their number one priority. That is why ensuring that forest operations are done well is crucial. In this capsule, we learned that forestry is not only about timber production. Timber production is translated into how most people see it, cutting trees for profit without ensuring environmental sustainability. Timber production is also about the management that includes silvicultural methods. “If the foundation (silvicultural method) is good, then the forest would be twice as beautiful,” one of the interviewees said in the capsule.

 

Presentation on Silviculture

(Figure 10. Presentation on silviculture in Québec, Canada. Source: Delegate documentation)

In the second session, we had a presentation on Silviculture in Québec, Canada. This presentation was given by Olivier Villemaire-Côte, a Ph.D. candidate at Laval University. Olivier studies tree regeneration problems that are linked with browsing and silviculture. We talked about why we needed silviculture in the past and why we need it in the present. In the past, silviculture was needed for wood production. This led to a definite view of forest management with simple solutions. Now, silviculture is recognized as a tool to achieve other goals, such as wood production, biodiversity, and ecological restoration. It is also needed to maintain forest aesthetics and act as climate change mitigation.

Based on the presentation, silviculture in the face of global change would need to follow or stay up-to-date in the ever-evolving conditions. It needs to prioritize addressing regional forest problems as a priority. These regional forest problems include invasive species, insect outbreaks, changing fire and water regimes, as well as the frequency and intensity of extreme events. To build a healthy forest, silviculture needs to stop following the money timeframe (short rotation) and bring back the forest timeframe (long rotation). Long rotation gives a more stable environment with a longer time to recover from the disturbance that occurs on the previous rotation.

 

Group Game, “Foresters Stereotypes”

(Figure 11. Group game on Mentimeter. Source: Delegate documentation)

The presentation from Olivier was then followed by a group game. This game was done by filling in Mentimeter about the classic stereotypes of foresters in each of our regions. At first, the OC presented some examples of stereotypes that they usually hear in Canada. Then, we were told to join the Mentimeter to input forester stereotypes in each of our countries. Some elaborated the stereotypes into funny stories. We had a good time sharing experiences with fellow young foresters despite the distance and the current situation that we are in now.

 

WEEK 2 – Day 5, Saturday, 31st July 2021, “GA Session 2”

Ballot 1 Results

(Figure 12. Presentation of ballot 1 results. Source: Delegate documentation)

The fifth day of the 49th IFSS is also known as the second day of GA. In the first session, we were given the first ballot results by Jonas Sitte, the Election Committee. The Ballot 1 results consist of the agreement of change in the Rules of Procedures (RoPs) and Commission Proposal. There were some changes made to the RoPs to ensure that it is easily understood by the members. Twenty-seven out of 63 LCs have voted, and the results stated the motions were passed.

 

Presenting of Ballot 2 Content

(Figure 13. Presentation of ballot 2 content. Source: Delegate documentation)

The presentation of ballot 2 content was led by Alina Lehikoinen. This ballot consists of the discharge of Board, HoCs, and RRs, the nomination of Consulting and Honorary Members, followed by the election of the Board and HoCs. The nominations for Honorary Members are Andrew Taber and Eva Müller. The Consulting Members nominations are Šimon Hrbek, Damiano Cilio, Konstantin Schwarz, Poonam Ghimire, Yu-Tung Hung, Xavier Noël-Monastesse, Khalil Walji, and Salina Abraham.

 

Vetting of Board Member Candidates

(Figure 14. Vetting of Board member candidates. Source: Delegate documentation)

After the reading of the second ballot, came the vetting process of each candidate. First up were candidates for the Board of IFSA. Each candidate was given a minute to vet and proceeded with 4 minutes of Q&A session. Magdalena Jovanovic, running as the next term president, was the first to present, followed by Elif Naz Duman (Vice President candidate), Jonas Sitte (Treasurer candidate). Simone Massaro (Executive Secretary candidate), Isabelle Claire Dela Paz (Internal Councilor candidate), Šimon Hrbek (Membership Councilor candidate), and Aditi Mishra (External Councilor candidate).

 

Vetting of HoC Candidates

(Figure 15. Vetting of HoC candidates. Source: Delegate documentation)

After a short break from the vetting process, the session continued for the vetting of HoC candidates. The candidates of the Communication Commission, Murtadha Ibrahim Muhammad and Salawu Hazzanat, were the first to vet. They were then followed by Jazmín López and Jean Laurence Reyes for the Head of Capacity Development Commission, Agustín Rosello Hinrichs for the Head of International Processes Commission, as well as Annie Biju and Volodymyr Kravets for the Head of Partners Commission.

 

WEEK 2 – Day 6, Sunday, 1st August, “Maple Syrup and Culture”

Pictionary Game

(Figure 16. Pictionary game in Kahoot. Source: Delegate documentation)

On Sunday, 1st August 2021, the 49th IFSS began with a Pictionary game using Kahoot. The sixth day of the 49th IFSS was dedicated to culture. That is why the questions in Kahoot were all around and about Québec, Canada. As usual, there was an explanation in between questions to explain the previous one. Some questions were related to the former event, so paying attention was indeed crucial. Anyhow, it was a fun and tricky game. The winner of this game was Alina Lehikoinen, but she decided to give the prize to the second winner, Phillips, as she had won the previous winner a couple of days before.

 

Field Trips #3 Sugar Shack

(Figure 17. Field trip to the sugar shack. Source: Delegate documentation)

After the game, we had another fascinating capsule about the sugar shack. The sugar shack is a small wooden house built for making maple syrup. Canadians use sugar shacks to hang out and socialize, especially during autumn to winter. Through this capsule, we visited a  sugar shack virtually and had the chance to get to know more about the culture along with the history in Québec, Canada. We learned that sugar shacks and maple syrup are essential parts of the lives of Canadians and Québecers. Canadians add maple syrup to everything. It seems like maple syrup runs in their blood! Anyhow, the winter vibes and the laughter in the capsule served us the feeling of nostalgia. Thankfully, this capsule can always be found in the IFSA Discord channel. That way, we, or any IFSA member, could watch it over and over again.

 

Best Québec Recipe

(Figure 18. Best Québec recipe. Source: Delegate documentation)

Following the second session, there was an hour break that we could use to cook the best Québec recipe. This recipe was up on the 49th IFSS Instagram account for a poll a few days before the 49th IFSS began. It turns out the winner was the (delicious) poutine! After the break, we gathered back in the room to present our poutine to everyone. Vincent and Gabriel, the OCs, showed their poutines first. Vincent showed that his poutine was cooked using the original style. Meanwhile, Gabriel added some personal touch to his poutine with mushrooms he picked and topped maple syrup.

After the OCs presented their poutines, the participants were invited to show ours. First up was Kyle from AFFS-UPLB. He showed his signature poutine topped with special gravy made from patis, the traditional Filipino sauce. And then there was Belle, also from AFFS-UPLB, who showed her poutine accompanied by a drink from Jollibee, a Filipino fast-food restaurant. From here, conversation flowed until Kyle was asked to do the Jollibee mascot dance.

 

International Night

(Figure 19. Presentation during the International Night. Source: Anastasya’s documentation)

At every IFSS, there is always a special night where we present our culture from our beloved countries. Here in the 49th IFSS, we also had the International Night. Though done online, this session turned out fun, with participants taking turns presenting their culture. The first to showcase was IFSA LC FRI, India. We were immersed in the beautiful culture and diversity that they have there. AFFS-UPLB was the next to present. They showcased a delightful video of Filipino culture. Last, IFSA LC UGM volunteered to introduce Indonesian culture, especially in Yogyakarta. We used a PowerPoint presentation followed by a short video. We had a small chat before it finally came down to closing. It was a beautiful experience to see the diversity that we have in IFSA!

 

.•° ✿ °•.

 

WEEK 3 – Day 7, Friday, 6th August, “First Nations and Social”

Field Trips #4 Chez Les Innus

(Figure 20. Field trips to the first nations. Source: Delegate documentation)

In the first session, we had another capsule about meeting the First Nations, also known as Canadian indigenous peoples. They have unique histories, cultures, and languages. Here, we also had a special guest, Eric Kanape, from the Kanape family. The problem with the forestry industry is that sometimes First Nations are being left out, and those young foresters are supposed to reach out to them to create effective communication between both stakeholders.

 

Presentation from the 50th IFSS OC Chile

(Figure 21. Presentation by the 50th IFSS OC. Source: Delegate documentation)

The first session was followed by a presentation from the 50th IFSS OC, Chile. This presentation was led by Agustín Rosello, OC President of the 50th IFSS, and his team. For the opening, they showed us a video teaser of the 50th IFSS in Chile. After that, they presented their goal of the event and their planned schedule for the 50th IFSS. They planned to have IFSS from the last week of August to the first week of September. It was with the consideration that from June to July would still be wintertime, and wintertime in Chile is beyond cold. The OC is considering whether it is possible for mobilization during winter with the temperature and weather conditions. The season was then followed by a couple of Q&As regarding the preparation of the event.

 

Presentation on Social Forestry

(Figure 22. Presentation on social forestry. Source: Delegate documentation)

In the third session, we had a presentation on social forestry. This session was brought by Anne Bernard, a Ph.D. student at Laval University. The topic was on the leading concept of Québec forest management, integrated land and resource management (ILRM). ILRM is a collaborative and consultative management process that combines several stakeholders, such as the First Nations, regional environmental councils, and forestry companies. The result of ILRM is integrated and concerted planning that contributes to increasing the benefits and impacts for the communities to optimize land and resource use.

 

Workshop on Forest Stakeholders Around the World

(Figure 23. Workshop on forest stakeholders. Source: Delegate documentation)

Last, we had a workshop on forest stakeholders. We were divided into breakout rooms to discuss the social forestry in our region. After conversing with our groups, we then presented the result of the discussion in the main room. The dialogue brought us into an extensive talk of why social forestry is crucial, why it is vital to bring forest communities as decision-makers, and more. We were also reminded to come to the third and last session of GA for the next day. It is because hearing the voting results and joining the discussion of the IFSA plan for the next term are principal.

 

WEEK 3 – Day 8, Friday, 7th August, “GA Session 3”

Updates from Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task-Force

(Figure 24. Presentation on Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task-Force. Source: Delegate documentation)

On 7th August 2021, we attended the eighth day of the 49th IFSS. In the first session, we had updates from the Joint IUFRO-IFSA Task-Force led by Alex Onatunji. He gave an update of the activities that had happened and are currently ongoing, such as research, capacity building, and publications. He also invited the participants to join the IUFRO-IFSA book launch on the 12th of August, 12:00 UTC+0, through bit.ly/yafplaunch.

 

Election Results

(Figure 25. Presentation on election results. Source: Delegate documentation)

The second session of the day was the second ballot result or the election result. This session was presented by Jonas Sitte, acting as the Election Committee of General Assembly 2021. Based on the votes, Magdalena Jovanovic is the elected President of IFSA for the term 2021/2022. The announcement of the elected president was followed by the Vice President (Elif Naz Duman), Treasurer (Jonas Sitte), Executive Secretary (Simone Massaro), Internal Councilor (Isabelle Claire Dela Paz), Membership Councilor (Šimon Hrbek), and External Councilor (Aditi Mishra). The rest of the IFSA Officials announcements are Head of Capacity Development Commission (Jazmín López), Head of International Processes Commission (Agustín Roselló Hinrichs), and Head of Partners Commission (Volodymyr Kravets). Before moving on to the next session, Magdalena gave a short welcoming speech. She told us the history of how she decided to enroll as the next president and that being brave by speaking up could lead you somewhere.

 

Financial Report and Budget

(Figure 26. Presentation on financial report and budget. Source: Delegate documentation)

The third session was the financial report and budget by Barbara Öllerer, Outgoing Treasurer of IFSA for 2020/2021. Barbara explained the budget that IFSA used throughout the term. She also explained what changed in the budget and the budget plan for the upcoming year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the budget that IFSA used went for administration expenses. That includes web plugins and features to improve the satisfaction of IFSA members in the digital platform experience. A couple of Q&As then followed before we moved on to the fourth session.

 

Officials of the Year

(Figure 27. Simone is the first Official of the Year. Source: Delegate documentation)

After Barbara, we have an announcement of the officials of the year. Simone was in 1st place, followed by Šimon in 2nd place and Sylvannisa in 3rd place. There were also sweet notes from fellow officials stating why the officials of the year deserved their recognition.

 

Plans for the New Term

(Figure 28. Workshop activities for IFSA ideas. Source: Delegate documentation)

Last but not least, we had a session where we could split into breakout rooms and discuss topics regarding the plans and ideas for the new term. We discussed membership accounts on the IFSA website, regions, and TreE-Learning. After that, the person in charge of each group presented the results of the discussion. The results showed that we need to step up on the content ideas, strategy, information flow, and interactivity for the new plans to run smoothly.

 

WEEK 3 – Day 9, Friday, 8th August, “Research and Innovations”

Field Trips #5 Our Faculty

(Figure 29. Capsule on Faculty of Forestry, Geography, and Geomatics. Source: Delegate documentation)

The first session was another fun virtual field trip, but this time we ventured to the faculty of forestry, geography, and geomatics of Laval University. There was an opening speech from  Nancy Gélinas, the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Geography, and Geomatics. Nancy stated that the faculty is very diverse in students from all over the world. In the capsule, we were shown places around the faculty. We roamed to places like meeting rooms and laboratories. After watching the video, the participants were able to ask for any information about the faculty. Because Nancy could not come to the conference, the OCs are the ones who answered our questions. The faculty does not have an international program, and students have to be able to speak French. Despite that, the university is always open to international students, and there is an international class for graduate students.

 

Field Trips #6 Cecobois and Wood

(Figure 30. Capsule on Cecobois and commercial wood usage. Source: Delegate documentation)

Next, we had another field trip on Cecobois and wood. It gave us a new perspective on wood usage to support sustainable development in all regions of Québec. Cecobois is the center of expertise in commercial wood construction. They promote and support the professional community of designers, engineers, and architects to use more wood in their designs. Wood for building and construction gives a unique aesthetic in its way while promoting sustainable development. Watching this capsule gave us a new perspective on wood usage for commercial and construction.

 

180 Seconds Thesis Presentation

(Figure 31. 180 seconds thesis presentation. Source: Faiha’s documentation)

In the third session, we had a 180 seconds thesis presentation. There were five presentations in total, and we were one of them. IFSA LC UGM got the second turn after Bora Karatas from Istanbul. Here we presented our research about “The Optimization of Tourism Potential for Forest Economics Improvements Around Mangunan Pine Forest During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” After each presentation, there was a Q&A session where the participants could ask more detailed explanations regarding the thesis. We were happy that everyone was so supportive of each other, and every presenter did a great job too!

 

Final Game

(Figure 32. The final game on Mentimeter. Source: Delegate documentation)

After having a 180 seconds thesis presentation, the OCs led us to play another game. We played the game using Mentimeter, in which we got the chance to submit and vote on our best moments of the 49th IFSS. Some of the questions included were our best moments and the lessons that we got during the events. We were also asked about what we could get from each of the conferences and capsules.

 

Closing Ceremony

(Figure 33. Closing ceremony speech from the OC President. Source: Delegate documentation)

Sadly, everything has to come to an end, and so does the 49th IFSS. In this session, we had a closing ceremony from the OC President of the 49th IFSS, Vincent Duquette-Rivard. During the 49th IFSS, we saw the reality of climate change and the level of concern we have towards it. He mentioned that it is salient to continue [what we do] in IFSA and show the world that forest is essential for us to continue living. Despite the condition with COVID-19, Vincent hoped that this online IFSS could spark a flame in each of our hearts. He also stated that it was a memorable experience to have all forestry students from around the world gathered together for three weeks through the 49th IFSS.

 

.•° ✿ °•.

 

(Figure 34. Group pictures with the participants. Source: the 49th IFSS OC)

It has been a memorable experience to meet the IFSA family and an honor to become a part of this delegation. As the delegates, we would like to thank all outstanding parties who have supported, helped, and guided us throughout our journey to this IFSS. A special toast for the 49th IFSS OC, ULaval IFSA, who had taken the time, effort, and ideas to make this IFSS unforgettable. We hope to see everyone in person next year. See you at the 50th IFSS in Chile!

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