MAnaging and COnserving FORests for multiple values


MACOFOR is a Transatlantic Exchange Program partnership involving 3 Canadian (University of Alberta, Université Laval, Vancouver Island University) and 3 European Universities (University of Transilvania, Brassov, Czech University of Life Sciences, Georg-August Universitat Gottingen).

The objective of the MACOFOR program is to enhance student learning about forest resources, issues, opportunities, and approaches for managing forests for a broad range of values (conservation, ecological services, aesthetics, recreation, timber/fibre production, non-timber forest products, and others) and to better equip students with the skills needed to practice sustainable forest management in the 21st Century through a program of develop international education and collaboration between Canadian and European University programs in forest conservation and management in order .


Financial support for this project between 2010 and 2013 was provided by:

 Human Resources and Skills Development Canada,
Canada-European International Academic Mobility Program,
Project # 9948290


Education Audiovisual and Culture Exchange Agency, Tempus and Bilateral Cooperation with Industrialized Countries, Cooperation in Higher Education, Training and Youth, European Union – Canada Transatlantic Exchange Partnerships Project # 2010-2651/001-001-CPT EU-CAN TEP


Funding is currently provided through scholarships and other support from participating institutions and outside sponsors.


We are also grateful for support from the participating universities and collaborating companies and agencies.


Forests sequester carbon, help to clean the air, protect soils from erosion, protect villages from landslides, provide important habitat for game and wildlife, are visually appealing, are dominant in major watershed areas, are considered highly desirable for recreation, serve as a source for non-timber products, and provide other services and values.  It is important that everyone involved in management of the worlds forests has a good understanding of how to manage forests in a way that can provide a broad range of values.

In Canada and Europe forests provide lumber and fibre and contribute to the economy but also provide important ecological and social services.Canada’s forests represent 8% of the worlds forests, while Europe has 25% of the worlds forests  While forest management serves a wide variety of purposes, provision of these environmental services is a primary concern in Western Europe while fibre and lumber production often receives greater emphasis in Canada (FAO State of the Worlds Forest Report 2009). 

Both economic and social pressures will cause a continued increase in and attention to the provision of a broad range of social and ecological services from forests.  Given a longer history of commercial utilization and forest management in Europe, and more experience with the management of forests for multiple purposes, there is substantial opportunity for Canadian students in forestry and conservation sciences to gain valuable knowledge from this transatlantic exchange program.  Visits to Canada and Canadian institutions provide valuable opportunities for European students to learn about the conservation and management of forests that have received less management and which more closely resemble natural forests.

Visiting and learning about forestry in other regions provides an opportunity to better understand regional differences and similarities and to develop international connections.  In addition, examining policies, practices and issues contributes to a better understanding of our own policies, practices and issues and their implications, as well as consideration of potential alternatives.



MACOFOR Activities

MACOFOR is supporting both short term field tours and study exchanges.  Project funding covers a portion of student costs, with additional funding coming from institutional scholarships/bursaries, fundraising, and students own resources.

Field Tours

Each year a group of Canadian students visits Europe for about 3 weeks and a group of European students visits Canada for about 3 weeks.  MACOFOR provides financial assistance to students who are selected to participate. 

The objective of these tours is to enhance participating students’ knowledge of forest resources and effects of a broad range of management practices on resources and values. These tours will also include the development of technical skills related to planning and implementation as well as providing opportunities to view issues and the outcomes of various policies and practices.  Discussions with students, faculty, scientists, and natural resource managers are used to facilitate student engagement and to enhance learning.  Students and faculty from host institutions, and local professionals are involved in hosting these visits.  These field visits involve assignments which will include observation, data collection, data analysis and synthesis, and preparation of reports.  Tours are held during spring and summer (May, July, August) to fit in with University schedules.



Information on field tours can be found by clicking on one of the links below:


Canada - Western Canada 2011 - Itinerary and Photos

Europe - Germany - Program, students report and photos


Canada - Quebec

Europe – Czech Republic - Students report and photos for visit to the Czech Republic by 10 students



Canada – Western Canada - July 19-August 8, 2013 - Visit to Alberta and BC by 10 students - Itinerary

Europe - Romania - April 27-May 15, 2013 (under construction) - Visit to Romania by 12 students - Students Report


Term Study Abroad Opportunities

This program provides opportunities for students to study and receive course credits from participating overseas institutions (after pre-approval from their home University).  The MACOFOR program provides scholarships to selected students to assist with travel and living expenses.



For more information on these exciting exchange opportunities please contact the MACOFOR coordinator at your University:

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada – Dr. Phil Comeau (Project Director for Canadian lead institution) - email:

Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada – Dr. Damase Khasa - email:

Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, Canada – Dr. Michel Vallee - email: - Student Mobility Website

University of Transilvania, Brassov, Romania – Prof. Dr. Lucian Kurtu (Project Director for EU lead institution) – email: - EU MACOFOR WEBSITE

Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic – Prof. Dr. Ivo Kupka – email:

Georg-August Universitat Goettingen, Germany – Prof. Dr. Michael Bredemeier – email:  , Prof. Dr. Christian Ammer – email: - MACOFOR WebPage