Erasmus Mundus Internship on policies affecting small forest patches accross Europe

EFIMED News item

Brazilian student, Guilherme Bastos, spent three months at the CTFC Forest Economics & EFIMED office as part of his Erasmus Mundus Masters programme. Here he describes his visit:

I am currently a Master’s student of the Erasmus Mundus European Forestry Consortium coordinated by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) at the Joensuu campus.

As a part of the Master’s programme, students spend 3 months at a Research Institution and I was kindly hosted by the Forest Sciences Center of Catalonia (CTFC) and EFIMED at their offices in Barcelona. During my stay I was supervised by Elena Górriz (EFIMED/CTFC) who is working on the assessment and analysis of policy instruments as part of a task in the European ERA-NET SmallForest Project.

Over the past three months I have learnt a great deal about policy in Europe, looking specifically at what can be done to prevent deforestation of fragmented small forest patches over European temperate broadleaf zones. Perceived as less economically attractive, these patches, which are found among agricultural lands, can vanish and with them so do the potentially positive ecosystem services they provide.

Working closely with my supervisor to increase my skills on policy analysis and assessment, I completed an assessment of 16 European case studies. I presented of some of the results of my work to the EFIMED/CTFC team at the end of my stay. It was a great opportunity to learn how a project of this size is organized and this really inspired me to start something similar back in Brazil where forest fragmentation and deforestation is also a big problem. Through interviews, meetings with project partners, papers and experience exchange I have learned a lot about the different ways people see and treat forests around Europe.

As well as the office work, field visits were organized to the CTFC headquarters in Solsona and to the Poblet Natural Park to get an overview of the MicoSylva project and the mushroom picking payments in Catalonia.

Overall, working at the EFIMED office in Barcelona was very enriching experience which helped me to understand how a continental institution is organized and how different nationalities work to reach mutual goals. Besides the knowledge I acquired, I am really thankful to CTFC and EFIMED for the opportunity to work in a very nice environment and one of the most beautiful offices I have ever seen!

Photo: Sarah Adams


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