The IAFN regional training center for Sri Lanka, Belipola Sustainability Education Center, hosted a 3-day workshop aimed at standardizing concepts and implementation practices of analog forestry for Sri Lanka. The workshop represents the first in a series of workshops that have been planned to bring analog forestry practitioners up to date with the international network’s standards, materials and practices of analog forestry. The workshop series is also an opportunity for participants to move towards accreditation as trainers, if this is the desired track that they would like to pursue. Finally, the workshop series also aims at bringing practitioners together to strengthen the burgeoning analog forestry network and to develop collaborative efforts in promoting, designing, implementing and teaching analog forestry within Sri Lanka.
We had 17 people attend the workshop representing ten organizations. This is the third workshop hosted at Belipola in the past nine months and while we have had consistently good turnout, with a diversity of people and organizations representing, we are still struggling to get consistency with attendance and participation. However, we feel that as the process moves forward we are finding out who is most committed and we will be focusing our attention and support on their efforts.
This workshop proved to be a very positive experience for all that participated. New knowledge was gained through practice and discussion and people seem to be feeling like they are part of a bigger movement again. It was particularly nice to see so many people who have a long history of work with analog forestry coming back into a collaborate and learning space. From the perspective of Belipola, we feel that by continuing through this track of trainings we will strengthen and grow the work of analog forestry more efficiently. Belipola will continue to offer the space for training programs, meetings and learning for all those who wish to attend. From here we will begin to draw focus on developing the skills and capacity of those who are showing commitment and potential to act as designers and trainers. At the same time we will begin the process of looking for and training a new cohort of practitioners. It is likely we will target young university graduates to start with.
Belipola is grateful for the financial support from the IAFN secretariat and Both Ends, without which it would be difficult to host such productive workshops. Thank you!
By: Sion Zivetz, Belipola Training Centre