From ABC to A-Z?

21 Dec 2017

My friends asked me one question over and over again. Why do I travel to Bonn and attend my third Global Landscapes Forum? Is this not getting boring? It made me think of my reasons, motivation and my why. So does it bore me? 100% no.

As a forestry student, land use is an ever-present term. Though throughout the years I noticed that lectures, seminars and excursions at the university offer only a brief introduction to various themes, like just from A to C in the alphabet. I wanted to know more: what forests look like in other countries, how they are managed, how landscapes are shaped. Hence I joined the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA).

IFSA offered me plenty of chances to exchange with other students and professionals around the globe and see parts of the world myself. This opened my eyes. There are more than three letters in the ABC. There is an “A to Z”. I learned that there is a whole movement behind the landscape issue – the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF). This leads back to the question, why do I travel here and join the movement?

You see the evolvement that youth involvement in the GLF has experienced, starting with an isolated youth session at the GLF 2013 in Warsaw. Now as GLF Youth representatives, we get the chance to interact with professionals and like-minded practitioners from all over the world, just as if it were a huge IFSA network. We get the chance to participate in discussions, facilitate sessions, be rapporteurs or translators and are greatly involved in the actual preparation of the events. As future leaders, we have a voice now with more than 200 youth delegates attending the #GLFBonn2017.

This makes GLF conferences so different from others. We connect, we share, we learn and we act. And we experience a unique spirit and keep it up. “Which spirit?”, my friends would ask. It is the feeling of connectedness, of getting things done together. You can only experience this if you are part of the movement, from A to Z.

Blogpost by Melanie Schulte – #GLFBonn2017 Social Reporter – schulte.melanie.ifsa(at)
Picture courtesy Pilar Valbuena/GLF

This post is part of the live coverage during the GLF Bonn 2017 Global event. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

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