Report of the Hungarian participant Ákos Iványi
As a part of the "Forest Expert Program" which was financed by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and coordinated by the German Forest Society, I was able to take part in a great one-month internship in August 2016. This allowed me a broad and deep insight into the everyday affairs of German forestry.
My main host was the State Forest Enterprise ThüringenForst, whose field of activity is similar to that of my Hungarian employer (a state forestry stock corporation). The Thuringian program was in itself very precise and detailed, I was presented the whole structure "from head to toe", from the leading Ministry to the forestry offices and districts. I also took part in interesting events, such as the large-scale forest day at the barrier lake Hohenfelden or a forest dialogue with citizens of the city of Sondershausen.
The for me individually organized internship program included visits to various for-estry organizations throughout Germany. I visited the German Forest Society in Göt-tingen, the German Forestry Council in Berlin, the private forest enterprise Fürst zu Fürstenberg in Donaueschingen, the Lower Saxonian State Forest Enterprise in Braunschweig, the "Berliner Forsten” and the small city forest "Stadtforst Fürsten-walde”. On the one hand, this meant many trips, but at the same time a constant change, which made the internship even richer and more useful.
The program covered a wide range of topics. In the various forest enterprises and organisations I experienced the diversity of tasks that are sometimes closely inter-twined:
- silviculture, hunting,
- timber harvesting, timber marketing,
- sovereignty, forest management, promotion and support of private and corporate forest, nature conservation,
- economic planning, controlling, internal audit,
- Public Relations, Tourism, Environmental Education,
- education, safety at work
- machine use, road construction,
- Forestry policy, representation of interests, lobbying.
There were also some peculiarities that are not yet part of everyday forestry in Hun-gary, such as burial forests, wind turbines and ecopoints. It was particularly interest-ing to be able to look into these areas as well. One could implement some ideas from the German into the domestic practice in Hungary. During this time, for example, it became clear to me which important aspects of hunting, forest development and for-est management planning complicate the spread of permanent forest in Hungary. Only when you recognize these problems, you can do something against them. Some concrete ideas can also be applied directly for example the pivot tables in con-trolling, the online appointment calendar for the organisation of teamwork, the pay-ment insurance of timber sales or the system of hunting organisation. I also saw how general principles, such as thoroughness, forethought and efficiency have positive long-term effects.
The "Forest Expert Program" offers a unique opportunity for practice-oriented, com-plex and flexible further education. Not only did I greatly expand my forest-economic knowledge, but also my language skills and my general education. That was not all. For a month I became a part of the German society, I marked future crop trees in the Black Forest, ate Thuringian bratwurst, drank German beer and admired the glass dome of the Bundestag. Thank you very much for these wonderful experiences to all who contributed. Thank you!
Here you can find further information on Akos (in German):