Climb tropical mountains and bask in the warm sun of Southeast Asia in this year’s International Forestry Students’ Symposium (IFSS). Now on its 43rd year, the Symposium will be held from July 28 to August 10, 2015 with the theme “Ensuring Life for All.” It will be hosted by the local committee (LC) Association of Filipino Forestry Students—University of the Philippines, Los Baños (AFFS-UPLB) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, a university that is cradled by the renowned Mt. Makiling, and neighbored by the great Laguna Lake.
Known for its rich biodiversity and numerous islands, the Philippines serves as an ideal host for the IFSS. Half of the country is covered with forests, and it houses 15,000 species of flowering plants, and more than a thousand species of wildlife species. Because of this diverse set of flora and fauna, it is no question why the Philippines is only the third country in Asia to host the IFSS, with Indonesia hosting last 2003 and 2008, and South Korea last 2010.
As issues of deforestation and climate change plague the world, it becomes even more important that more individuals are informed of the important function that forests serve. This year, as a country that depends heavily on its forests, the Philippines and IFSS 2015 aim to highlight how the existence of humanity is dependent on its forests. From its role as habitat to various other living creatures, to its provision of resources and livelihood to many, it is clear that the life of forests lead to the life of the world, and thus does its death mean our own.
The IFSS seeks to contribute to the sustainability of forests around the world through forestry education. It is an annual event of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), an organization that aims to provide a platform for students to enrich formal education, promote cultural understanding, and gain practical experience. This year’s IFSS activities include lectures, learning visits, and cultural tours. Around 140 local and international students from 53 universities in 32 countries all over the world are expected to participate in the fourteen-day event.
Detailed schedule, activities, and other information about the symposium can be viewed at https://ifss2015.ph.
by Vanayan Odsey