Apply Knowledge Globally

Participants from 21 countries convene for international climate change seminar

Photo: Abibou Sane uses a tool to bore into a tree and take core samples. Three other men look on.
Seminar participant Abibou Sane (Senegal) takes a tree core sample during a carbon measurement demonstration led by Region 5 regional ecologist Hugh Safford. Participants Patrick Okitayela (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Stephen Kankam (Ghana) observe. Forest Service photo by Moses Jackson.


—For three weeks in May, 25 participants from 21 countries joined the International Seminar on Climate Change and Natural Resource Management in Washington, D.C., and California. Seminar participants came from foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations, U.S. embassies and other institutions invested in improving natural resource management practices and policies in their countries. This annual seminar is co-organized by the International Programs office in partnership with the University of California at Davis.

Throughout the three weeks participants collaborated with subject matter experts and each other to learn about the impacts of climate change on natural resources, different approaches for managing natural resources in the face of climate change, and policy and technological developments related to climate change adaptation and mitigation, including carbon markets and offsets. Washington, D.C., is an international hub for climate change programs and initiatives, and California is an ideal location to investigate cutting-edge land management practices under climate change. California has exhibited international leadership on climate change legislation and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and is home to a variety of ecosystems affected by climate change and interlinking pressures from water scarcity, agricultural land use and population growth.

Forest Service staff in Region 5 played an active role in hosting the group. Regional forester’s representative Jerry Bird and director of State & Private Forestry Sherry Hazelhurst both welcomed the participants. Regional ecologist Hugh Safford, regional wildlife ecologist Sarah Sawyer, and experts from Tahoe National Forest and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit engaged with the participants through presentations about water and forests in California and field visits in the Tahoe area. Participants also visited city and state government offices, nongovernmental organizations and private sector groups.

This seminar is one of 10 annual seminars organized by the International Programs office. The seminars have significant and long-term impacts on individuals. Past seminar participant Yitahew Abebe Kibret from Ethiopia said, “In three weeks of seminar, in my opinion, I have gained a year of experience.” The International Programs office sees these seminars as a way to share best practices from the U.S. and to deepen relationships with global partners. Visit the International Programs website for more information on the seminar program.

Photo: Participants in the 2018 international climate seminar.
The seminar group poses for a group photo at a scenic vista overlooking Lake Tahoe. Forest Service photo by Moses Jackson.