MoEF signs MoU with University of British Columbia on forestry science

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada for next 10 years in New Delhi. Both the institutions shall explore opportunities for future collaborations in the field of forestry science through their respective organizations namely Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Directorate of Forest Education, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

The MoU will help in exchange of students, researchers and faculty, developing research projects, livelihood opportunities and augment income of the forest based communities and also assist the industries to optimize the utilization of forest based resources with access of technology to different stakeholders by the respective organizations.
The main areas of collaboration listed in the Memorandum of Understating are:

  • Collaborative research on wood sciences, forest resource management, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, forest genetics and breeding, wildlife, ecology, remote sensing, insect and disease pests, extension, conservation of flora and fauna, biotechnology, bio-energy, bio-economy, etc
  • Exchange of students/researchers, faculty members and post-doctoral fellows through internship and other scholarship opportunities
  • Capacity building on data collection and analysis of Permanent observational sample plots under forest inventory for growth, stand structure, biodiversity and climate change parameters
  • Training and exposure on developing suitable protocols for Linkage of Remote Sensing and field inventory data
  • Arranging joint conferences, seminar, workshops and exhibitions

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among one of the best universities in the world. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. Many years ago, I was surprised to hear from the farmers from Canada they way they have integrated forests and organic farming into their farming methodology. It is like the traditional way of farming with lots of trees and bushes around the farms a generation or two earlier. At that time the farmers from Canada had told me the benefits of having forests as forests attract insectivorous birds who do a world of good by feeding on the pests in the crops. I am sure this MoU will hopefully bring a different perspective and open up the eyes of some of our institutes, officials and planners.