SG0219 Sustainable Forestry and Land-use Management in the Tropics, 15.0 credits - Hållbar skogsskötsel och markanvändning i tropikerna

Last changed: 29 April 2019

Do you want to work with forestry and forest related issues in the tropics? This is the course for you! This course will take you through the arc of understanding global issues and theoretical knowledge to the on-the-ground complexities, challenges, and strategies of tropical forest and woodland management activities.

You will learn tropical forest and woodland ecology, management systems, forest products and services, global issues and drivers of land-use and land-use change, the complexities of local conditions, and how to integrate multiple forest- and land-use objectives and manage trade-offs. Specifically, lectures and exercises will cover the following topics:

  1. Fundamentals of tropical forest and woodland distribution, classification (dry/moist/wet, forest/woodland/savannah/mangrove, lowland/montane), and ecology (diversity, nutrient cycling, soils, productivity)
  2. The effect of different soils and climate on forestry and land use in the tropics.
  3. Prevalent management systems: Natural forest management, industrial tree plantations, agroforestry, and restoration
  4. The global perspective: Drivers and trends of deforestation and forest degradation, the role of tropical forests in the global carbon cycle and climate change mitigation, global “top-down” initiatives and agendas (e.g., Sustainable Development Goals, REDD+, Bonn Challenge), and trade and policy
  5. The local perspective: We introduce and examine the local context and complexities such as forest and land uses, livelihoods, land tenure, food security, gender dynamics, and indigenous rights.

 Case studies will tie all our teachings together in real-world examples, especially how to integrate global and local perspectives. We will cover strategies for conservation and improved forest management (e.g., sharing vs. sparing debate, reduced impact logging), the link between trees and water, sustainable livestock management, agroforestry and intensification, managing multiple land uses, and other success stories. Lectures and case studies will be presented by experts at SLU and private companies.

 Throughout the course, students will work in small groups to delve into a specific theme of their choice and how it applies to the local context. We will use Mozambique as a case country. The course will include an optional trip to Mozambique in February, where we will visit actively managed natural forests, an innovative agroforestry-restoration site, an industrial tree plantation, and a national park. We will interact with local professors, scientists, practitioners, and students. The field trip will transform theory and independent research into reality, and we will discuss how your perceptions and ideas change during and after the field excursion. We will take note of conflicts between different land uses and stakeholders and conceive of potential solutions.  


The course will take place from 21 January – 25 March 2019 (v. 4-12/13) and is tentatively scheduled as follows:

v. 4: Introduction to the course and independent reading

v. 5: Intensive lectures and exercises (preferably in Umeå) 

v. 6: Group work and preparation

v. 7: Optional trip to Mozambique

v. 8-11: Group work and feedback from lecturers

v. 12: Presentation of group projects

v. 13: Optional participation in International Week at SLU in Umeå

For more information please contact

Rosa Goodman, Senior Lecturer
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, joint staff, +46907868168

Ulrik Ilstedt, Researcher
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, joint staff, +46907868390, +46701510075

Gert Nyberg, Coordinator
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Department of Forest Ecology and Management, joint staff, +46907868255, +46702947577