Poverty and high dependence on natural resources for day-to-day survival are major challenges for the management and conservation of mountain regions in developing countries. Additional pressure on natural resources and forested areas, in particular, is caused by global change, increased demand for resources and lack of available land for agricultural uses. Education plays a key role in those particular settings to enable local people to actively participate in the management of the area they inhabit. The Forest Department in Karakoram International University Gilgit aims to provide specialized knowledge to people living and working in mountainous Gilgit Baltistan Region of Pakistan.
The BS Program incorporates the current scientific and economic state of the art in mountain forest management. While it, of course, also covers theoretical aspects, the improvement of students’ applied skills in this area is the main goal of the programme. This in turn directly translates to a substantial increase in their employability. In order to gain practical experience students also take part in mandatory field exercises, where they can apply newly learned concepts in a controlled setting. Visits to different forest areas in the country and particularly in GB is the partial requirement of this program.