International forestry students gathering

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IFSS 2017

The 45th International Student's Symposium (IFSS 2017) will take place in South Africa, after Saasveld Forestry Association of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s George Campus won the bid to host the IFSS 2017.

Of particular note is that IFSS 2017 will be a collective effort of all South African IFSA chapters under the auspices of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). In the history of IFSA, IFSS 2017 will be the first symposium to be hosted by a team of collaborating local chapters from one country. It is indeed a South African symposium, a country where collectivism and diversity resonate in a people.

The event will run from the 2nd of July to the 17th of July 2017 and will take place in various regions of South Africa.

IFSS 2017 plan to:

  • Have 150 students from 50 countries and all continents will attend IFSS 2017.
  • The general assembly and workshops will take place during the symposium. Further more the elections for all IFSA positions for 2018 will take place.
  • South Africa's people, cultures, landskape and forestry industry aspects will be presented.

The theme for IFSS 2017 is “Practicing Forestry in a diverse environment: Que Vedas- Where to from Here” . The nature of forestry is changing rapidly, with social components becoming as important as the traditional biophysical components, landscapes are transforming and humanity has become a key driver of global change and in this century, unlimited mobility presents diversity in all its forms. Education, transformation and diversity can therefore be regarded as critical issues for forestry in the 21st century and beyond.  The symposium seeks to deliver a well-rounded program with a strong academic component as well as field and cultural tours that will engage and challenge the participants.


Pre-Symposium tour

The pre-tour is a kickstarter event to IFSS 2017, a student symposium hosted by students for students, with the intention of meeting and networking with like-minded forestry students from all over the world. IFSS was hosted by South African universities for first time in 1997, again in 2007, and for the third time in 2017.

This year’s symposium is to be hosted by a team of collaborating Local Committees from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Stellenbosch, University of Venda, University of Pretoria, and the Fort Cox Institute of Agriculture and Forestry. Following the successful hosting of the World Forestry Congress (Durban, 2015), where youth’s involvement in the forestry agenda was clearly depicted, IFSS 2017 will seek to continue stirring youth involvement in forestry in Southern Africa and beyond.

The Pre-symposium will run from 29th ofJune to 01st of July 2017 tour will introduce participants to South Africa, in particular to the Western Cape, in a fun and adventurous way.

Pre-IFSS2017 plan to:

  • Host 50 students from different countries and continents.
  • Tour students to the western cape region of Southern Africa

Please click of the Pre-Symposium tab for more information.


Post-Symposium tour

This leg of the symposium is hosted by ICFR in Pietermaritzburg as part of the ICFR-IUFRO annual forest research symposium.

As this is not organised by the South African organising committee, participants are asked to contact the ICFR personally and register for the symposium. It is also participants own responsibility to organise your transport from Pretoria to Pietermaritzburg as well as your accomodation. Please find some relavent information to help you with these relavent tasks in the respectable tabs.

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Stellenbosch University, Fortcox University, University of Venda, University of Pretoria