Fort Cox participation in Forest21 €1 million EU funded project

The Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Training Institute (FCAFTI) is proud to participate and contribute in a collaborative effort to achieve the objectives of the Forestry21 project titled “21st Century Climate-Smart Forestry Education for Livelihood and Sustainability in South Africa”, which is a €1 million EU funded collaborative project. It is encouraging for Fort Cox that the objective of this project in the main, is to capacitate the South African Institutions of higher education and training offering Forestry qualifications to improve our curricula by incorporating the climate-smart forestry and entrepreneurship concepts.

In line with our motto “Non Sibi Sed Populo” meaning “Not for oneself but for people”, the Institute is geared to contribute positively in this project to the benefit of all the participating partners through the active participation of the students, academic and support staff and where necessary or required the management.

Being the first time the Institute is participating in a project of this calibre, we are delighted that the institute is going to acquire substantial amount of experience from collaborative efforts with our local participating partners (Stellenbosch University, University of Venda, Nelson Mandela University and Tshwane University of Technology), as well as the international partners (Häme University of Applied Sciences, Inner Norwary University of Applied Sciences and Alto University).

Fort Cox is also impressed with the progress made up to date with regard to convening of all the PMT meetings, Kick-off launch workshop which was well organized and executed from the conceptual point of view and also the DMT meetings. Most importantly, FCAFTI is also proud to have contributed or participated in the dissemination workshop during the second day of the kick-off workshop.

Also, from our student’s point of view, the Institute would like to thank the project team for extending the opportunity to the students from participating partners to partake in the project Logo design competition. This competition has in a great deal sparked a lot of interest among the FCAFTI forestry students and therefore encouraged them to work together, share ideas and support each other. Additionally, the Institute convened Forest21 meeting to layout internal project implementation plan which was attended by:

✈ First and second year forestry students representatives
✈ The Fort Cox Forestry Students Association (FCFSA) committee
✈ Fort Cox communication and ICT sections
✈ Forestry and Natural Resource Management Department interns and academic staff.

The main issue discussed in this meeting was to encourage active participation by all the internal stakeholders in order to contribute effectively to the project’s implementation plan, the need to prioritize attendance of all the PMT, DMT and QMT meetings as well as informing students about the students’ competition, that will be soon commencing and also reminding the students how central and significant their participation is in this project.

Lastly, considering that Fort Cox’s current teaching and learning approach includes theoretical and practical based learning blended approach to deliver our curricula, we are further looking forward to attain more knowledge and skills pertaining to the problem-based learning approach through this project and as such, we are in the process of establishing a forest plot that will provide an opportunity to implement problem-based learning approach.

Dr. RP Tshidzumba

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