ITTO Fellow Michael Ishmael Fofana from
Liberia in the Philippines.
Photo: M.I. Fofana
ITTO offers fellowships through the Freezailah Fellowship Fund to promote human resource development and to strengthen professional expertise in member countries in tropical forestry and related disciplines. The goal is to promote the sustainable management of tropical forests, the efficient use and processing of tropical timber, and better economic information about the international trade in tropical timber.
As of December 2014, the Programme, which began in 1989, has enabled more than 1300 young and mid-career people from over 40 countries working for government, universities, research institution, civil society and the private sector to pursue their professional development and improve their career prospects. Forty-one percent of the fellowships have been awarded to people from Asia-Pacific, 32% to people from Africa, 24% to people from Latin America/Caribbean, and 3% to people from developed consumer countries, who carried out their activities in producer member countries.
The total value of fellowships awarded to date amounts to approximately US$7.5 million. Funding has been provided through the generous voluntary contributions from Japan (71%), U.S.A (16%), the Netherlands (8%), Australia (3%) and others (2%), including Sweden, U.K., Bali Partnership Fund-B and private companies. The programme supports mainly short-term activities, such as participation in international conferences, training courses and study tours. In addition, it also helps people to prepare manuals and monographs and provides small grants for post-graduate study.
ITTO Fellowship Programme encourages capacity development of women foresters, and has supported 381 women to undertake fellowship activities, accounting for 29% of the total number of fellowships.
Click on Resources to read articles written by ITTO fellows on their fellowship activities.
Impact Assessment of the Fellowship Programme
An impact assessment of the Fellowship Programme, conducted in spring of 2010, showed that the Fellowship Programme has made significant contribution to human capacity development in ITTO producer member countries. Two hundred and six fellows from 34 countries, who completed their fellowship activities between 2000 and 2009, responded to a survey questionnaire. Almost all of the respondents indicated that they have been contributing to promoting sustainable forest management in their home countries. About 85% of the respondents indicated that they have improved their productivity and performance of their home institution by developing new programs or innovative ways of working. Majority of respondents (83%) indicated that the knowledge and skills acquired through the Fellowship program has helped them to influence national forestry and environmental policy in their home countries. About fifty percent (50%) of respondents indicated that they are currently working on international forestry issues, particularly on climate change and REDD.
Eighty five percent of the respondents currently hold either Ph.D. (39%) or Masters Degree (46%) in forestry and related disciplines, and about a half of the fellows received these degrees through the support of the Fellowship Programme. More than half of the respondents (59%) achieved a relevant job position or job promotion immediately after completion of their fellowships, and 83% replied that their job promotion was related to the skills and knowledge that they gained from their fellowship activities.
A summary of the survey results is available in the special edition of the TFU Volume 21 Number 1, 2011, dedicated to the Fellowship Programme.
The maximum amount for a fellowship grant is US$10,000. Only nationals of ITTO member countries are eligible to apply, and fellowships are awarded mainly to nationals of developing member countries. Click here for further information including eligibility, appraisal and selection criteria.