Trainings on forest pedagogy: theory and practice

On February 28, the workshop-training on forest pedagogy has been conducted in the premises of the State Agency  of Forest Resources of Ukraine for representatives of regional forest management administrations, foresters and teachers of school forestries of the south-eastern and central regions of Ukraine.
This training was carried out in the framework of project measures to increase the forestry sector's potential in forestry and ecological education for children, young people and the general public with the financial support of the project “Skilled Foresters = Better Forests". The participants of the training were representatives of regional forest management administrations of Kyiv, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Cherkasy and Chernihiv oblasts, whose responsibilities include environmental education, establishing and coordinating the work of school forestries, as well as heads of school forestries , representatives of ecological and nature centers of these regions.
During the training, project expert Svitlana Kuptsova provided the basic theoretical information about forest pedagogy, its history, network, specific features, goals, target groups, methodology, etc. The theory was combined with practical tasks, interactive games and activities of forest pedagogy. Participants were given a number of forest pedagogy tools, which they worked on during the training - this is a map of notions, methodical exercises on the rules of behaviour in the forest, forest gates, forest layers, and exercises on associative thinking. An important form of forest pedagogy, which is relevant for Ukraine, is an adventurous trip in the forest or at the ecological trail and there are many of these trails in Ukrainian forests. Therefore, participants were curious to learn about examples of introductory, main and final exercises that can be used during such an excursion.
The great interest has been given to the information about such a form of forest pedagogy application for disseminating the knowledge about the forest among the population, promoting the work of the foresters and improving the image of this industry as the organization of the Forest Fest for children and adults. In Zakarpattia, for two years in a row, with the active support of NGO FORZA, this Forest Fest has achieved a great success, and the experience of its organization was provided by the expert of the project, Radmila Ustych. Participants also watched promotional videos and TV shows of local TV that made it possible to feel the atmosphere of the Fest. You can view video via the links:  and .
An active discussion took place about the concept of forest pedagogy in Ukraine, which is currently under preparation. Participants expressed their vision on the scope of forest pedagogy, practical aspects of its implementation, institutional and financial support.
All forest pedagogy tools provided during the training can be adapted according to the age of the participants of the forest pedagogy event, their level of knowledge, the tasks set by the forest pedagogue. After the training, all participants received professional methodological materials, manuals (the manual "Forest Guide" can be downloaded at the links  and , collection of interactive games "About forest in the forest" - and ), the games "Associative Memory" and “Take a Guess!”, Quarterly calendars of forest pedagogy and samples of promotional materials for the Forest Fest.
It is important that such a training also became a platform for communication and exchange of experience between representatives of various organizations who work for one goal but have no opportunity to discuss the current issues of environmental education work with the population in promoting a caring attitude to the forest.
NGO FORZA as the organizer of this training is grateful for the assistance in carrying out the training to the State Agency of Forest Resources of Ukraine, in particular, to the head of the sector of international relations, science and public relations Polyakova Lyubov and the chief specialist of the department of science and public relations Klymenko Olga , as well as for active participation, interest and positive feedback to the participants of the training, which despite the unfavorable weather conditions arrived to Kiev for gaining new knowledge.
We hope that this knowledge and the methodological materials, manuals, games will be used by participants in their daily work and will promote the dissemination of knowledge about forest pedagogy via information about with the themes and materials of the workshop, provided by participants to the representatives of other forestry enterprises and heads of school forestries of these regions.
Photo report of NGO "FORZA" is at the link:
Additionally: “Skilled foresters = better forests” project is implemented in the framework and under the financial support of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service International Programme. GOAL OF THE PROJECT is to (i) increase competences, particularly practical knowledge and skills of forestry practitioners and forestry students in multifunctional close to nature forest management approaches and tools, (ii) establish training environment and develop the watershed condition assessment tool as well as (iii) expand the potential of foresters in forest related environmental education in Carpathian region of Ukraine using USFS experience and expertise.