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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996
TRAINED AND COMPETENT PERSONNEL - A PREREQUISITE FOR SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT

D J Danbury
Sri Lanka Forestry Institute/ DFID

The Forestry Sector Master plan is an ambitious programme for sustainable development to meet wide-ranging economic, social and environmental objectives. Its successful implementation depends on it being carried out by a body of well trained, competent personnel at all levels - professional, technical and operative.

A university degree should be regarded only as the starting point for a career as a professional forester. Continuous professional development is necessary for the forest officer cadre to handle the many duties placed upon it.

Training of technical foresters should be strongly practically orientated. Knowledge and competence are equally important, and trainees should be assessed on their ability to carry out practical tasks to specified performance levels.

Basic skills training for operatives, whether employees or owner occupiers, should be made available through extension services both on-the-job and as short courses. This is particularly relevant for the successful development of participatory and private forestry.

It is vital that all personnel know clearly the job they have to do, and can carry it out with minimal supervision to an acceptable output and level of accuracy. The encouragement of such individual responsibility will require better incentives than currently exist, with no rigid promotion barriers for outstanding individuals.

The structure of forestry education and training in Sri Lanka will need to evolve to meet new demand. A wide range of training provision will be necessary, particularly in short courses, across the whole sector. A national forestry training council should be established to coordinate this activity.


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Department of Forestry and Environmental Science,
University of Sri Jayewardenepura,Sri Lanka. 1999. All rights reserved.