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Czech Mendel University in Brno will support enhancement of Forestry Education at the Royal University of Agriculture

In 2019, Czech Mendel University (MENDELU), Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology will continue its successful cooperation with the Forestry Faculty of the Royal University of Agriculture in Phnom Penh.

The aim of the project supported by the Czech Development Agency in 2019 within the specific program of Sending Teachers to Universities in partner countries is to improve the management of Cambodian natural resources through increasing the level of practical education and academic skills in the field of agriculture, forestry and natural sciences. The main objective of the project is to increase the capacity and university education, field research and scientific research results publication at the Forestry Faculty of RUA.

MENDELU experts will assist in capacity building to students and teachers through field research and data collection for practically oriented final theses. The project will also include increasing the level of practical training in the field, which has not been a common practice in Cambodia and in which Czech foresters have years of experience. Overall, the project should support the development of professional and practical forestry skills, both for teachers and students from the Royal University of Agriculture and for forestry operations representatives.

In the previous phase of the project, we focused mainly on agroforestry and the introduction of practical training to bring the economic utilization of woody plants closer and show the added value of practical teaching and field research to students and teachers. A field such as forestry requires close contact with practice, and if students did not get into the forest for three years of their studies, they would not be prepared for the reality of forestry operations. During several field trips last year, the students tried out how to collect data for their research, get acquainted with modern measurement technologies, took field excursions to various companies and authorities focused on forestry, agriculture and nature conservation. This year, together with the RUA teachers, we would like to concentrate on the development of academic and research fields, where students will have assigned practical research with a presumed positive impact on the forestry sector and at least some of them will publish their findings in scientific or professional journals.

At present, Cambodian forestry lacks of sufficient experts and suffers from a low interest of young people in studying this field. We believe that our project will help to make this study program at the Royal University of Agriculture more attractive and will contribute to the development of the right and sustainable way by increasing the capacity of local experts, ”says Eng. Petr Němec Ph.D., a project manager from MENDELU in Brno.

MENDELU contributed to the project financed by the Czech Development Agency through its own activities, for example in the area of ​​scholarships for Cambodian students at the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology of MENDELU in Brno. Warbota Khum is the first Cambodian forestry student at Mendel University in Brno.

I firmly believe that studying at Mendel University in Czech Republic is really great opportunity for me to learn more about useful benefits like methodologies and techniques, which I can apply in forestry operations when returning back to Cambodia. First of all, the advantage of studying in the forestry field is learning about the difference between forests of the Czech Republic and Cambodia. Moreover, the studying at Mendel University is providing me the hug e benefit for my major due to experiences of all the professors and practically oriented research and education.” says Warbota, who is now finishing her first year of Master Degree.

Further information about the project is available on the website of Mendel University in Brno and the Czech Development Agency.