The ongoing worldwide intensive deforestation of more than 10 million ha per year clearly demonstrates the importance of forestry science. Aside from forests' necessary ecological roles, especially for climate, water, and soil protection, there is an increasing global economic interest in the context of carbon sequestration.
Deforestation in particular is caused by land-use change, forest exploitation for firewood or timber, agricultural production, national settlement programmes, mining activities, and energy production. There is a close connection between deforestation and land degradation, which are often followed by desertification. Over 250 million people are directly affected by desertification. In addition, about one billion people in over one hundred countries are at risk. These people include many of the world's poorest, most marginalized, and politically-weak citizens.
The MSc Programme “Tropical and International Forestry” focuses on these issues and applies the expertise of German forestry science to international forestry and environment-related problems. As the home of sustainable forestry and with its long forestry tradition, Germany is predestined to meet these challenges.
The aim of the programme is to export German expertise on effective and sustainable forest management, to communicate with international institutions, and to train international and German students. By offering a broad, modern, and interdisciplinary study-programme for foresters, the graduates of this programme can be employed all over the world in international institutions and international projects and can supervise or manage forests and forestry ecosystems abroad.
To prepare the students for their international work, the lectures are held completely in English.