The Forest Academy for Decision Makers  Communication Concept

The Forest Academy is a unique approach designed to increase dialogue around forests in society. It has been developed into a communication concept available for purchase. The programme format is called “Forest Academy – A Programme for Increasing Dialogue around Forests in Society”.

A key factor in the future success of the forest sector is its ability to absorb and influence across sectors

Cross-sectoral coordination, co-operation and partnerships in forest issues are major challenges for modern forest policy. Yet, success in planning and implementing cross-sectoral activities is not simple. A key factor in the success of the forest sector is its ability to absorb, interact and influence across other walks of society. The Forest Academy communication programme can be an efficient tool for producing input for decision making on strategic issues and for policy process preparation.

Our mission

The Forest Academy for Decision Makers aims to enhance social capital. Social capital refers to the trust, networks and shared views that exist between one sector and the rest of society. The Forest Academy communication programme is based on arranging a series of cross-sectoral forums that utilise a specific structure and variety of educational working methods that are designed to promote the creation of social capital between participants from the forest sector and the rest of society.

Since 1996, the mission of the Forest Academy is to increase the interest of decision-makers, opinion leaders and other influencers in forest issues and strengthen their capability of understanding and utilising the multiple potentials related to forests in support of societal development. The strategy of the Academy is based on a long-term commitment to implementing a communication programme.

We at the Finnish Forest Association offer our 26-year experience, knowledge and tools needed to establish a long-term communication programme on forests. Our lisensed Forest Academy communication concept is a complete set of tools, designed to support the implementation of the communication programme.

See Forest Academy brochure here.

It’s too late to form a network when you need one. This is the ethos of the Forest Academy summed up in the words of Harry Mildh.

The Forest Academy aims to

    • bring together a mix of policymakers, decision-makers and opinion leaders from across the forest sector and the rest of society
    • provide versatile and multi-layered views and information on forests and their role in society
    • increase the participants’ general interest in forest issues
    • strengthen participants’ abilities to understand the multiple benefits that multi-purpose sustainable use of natural resources brings
    • increase interaction and build networks between leaders and influencers from different parts of society

An adaptable format to suit different national conditions

The Forest Academy communication concept is based especially on the Forest Academy of Decision Makers organized in Finland since 1996, but also on many international applications, such as the international Forest Academy Finland forums, which were aimed at key forest influencers in the new EU countries (2003–2004), the European Renewable Resources, Sustainable Future forums (2006-2007 ), Finnish-Russian Forest Forums (2011) and Forest Academy for EU Decision Makers (2018, 2022).

The Forest Academy communication programme can be tailored to meet the different needs and conditions of each country. The lisence, manual and other communication tools are produced and provided by Metsäviestintä Oy (owned 100 % by the Finnish Forest Association).

The programme has already been implemented in Latvia, Tanzania (with the UONGOZI Institute), Costa Rica (with CATIE) and Mozambique (with E. Mondlane University).