SRINAGAR: Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST-Kashmir today inaugurated one month long capsule courses on Forest ecosystem services and Forest Policy & Governance in collaboration with Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) Lithuania, Baltic, Europe as a part of MOU signed by the two universities with main focus on exchange of scientific staff, dual degree programmes and collaboration in academic and research programmes. The courses sponsored by IDP-NAHEP were designed for B. Sc 4th year students of Faculty of Forestry by Division of Silviculture & Agroforestry and Career Counseling cell of the faculty.
The inaugural event held on 15th of June, 2021 was presided over by Prof. J. P. Sharma, Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K & SKUAST-J as a chief guest and Prof. Astrida Miceikiene, Chancellor Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) Lithuania, Baltic, Europe as Patron and guest of honour. The event was attended by all the Deans and directors of both SKUAST-K and Magnus University Lithuania. The participants of the event also included the heads of various divisions, faculty members and students of Faculty of Forestry.
Prof. J. P Sharma, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K & SKUAST-J in his words of wisdom praised Prof. N. A. Ganie , Director (P & M) and Dean, Faculty of Forestry, Prof. T. H. Masoodi for initiating and conducting such important programmes in the University. Prof. Sharma gave a detailed account of forest ecosystem services from the various forest types of the country in general and those from our region in particular. He emphasized that post COVID-19 situation, the gross environmental product (GEP) has become a focal point instead of gross domestic product (GDP) at the global level. He also stressed to strengthen the relationship between two universities for other academic and research programs for our mutual benefit and sharing of other resources and information. Prof. Sharma congratulated the entire team and expressed his satisfaction at the way the Faculty of Forestry is progressing.
Prof. Astrida Miceikene, Chancellor Magnus University, VMU, Lithuania Baltic Europe and guest of honor and patron of this programme assured taking up such programmes with SKUAST-K in days to come. She congratulated course coordinator, Dr. Ekaterina Makrickiene for initiating signing of MoU with SKUAST-K. She emphasized upon the organizers that these programmes will boost the morale of the students and will be exposed to international academic standards.
Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganaie, Director (P & M) and principal investigator, NAHEP impressed upon the need of such programmes for the students for their better future and entrepreneurship. Dr. Nazir threw light on the ecosystem services and the need for developing a common methodology for their quantification. He also congratulated Dean, FOF and the entire faculty for signing MoU with Magnus University and taking up the two elective courses.
Prof. Vilma Bijeikiene, Prorector from Magnus, Lithuania spoke about the introduction of these courses at global level.
Dr. Ekaterina Makrickiene, International coordinator Magnus University briefed the audience about the course curriculum and the lectures to be delivered with respect to these two elective courses.
Earlier Prof. Masoodi, Dean, Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST-K, delivered the formal welcome address and briefed the audience about the significance of these courses in context of climate change and global warming. He stressed upon the climate smart forestry concept to harness various ecosystem services from the forests which cover 31% of the land surfaces at global level and have gained more importance post COVID-19 situation in terms of directly providing food and livelihood security to more than 03 billion people across the world. Prof. Masoodi thanked Vice Chancellor, Prof. J. P. Sharma and Director (P & M), Prof. Nazir Ahmad for their full support in the pursuit of development of the faculty of forestry.
The programme ended with a formal vote of thanks proposed by Course Director, Prof. K. N. Qaisar, Ex-HOD, SAF and presently Controller Examinations SKUAST-Kashmir.The event was moderated by Dr. Syed Naseem Geelani and Dr. Nazir A. Pala, Scientist, Faculty of Forestry.