Studies at the Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) focus on sustainable use and management of forests and natural resources in tropical and sub-tropical areas and in developing countries.

Education and training cover dry and humid tropics, natural and plantation forests, agroforestry systems, and management of forested tropical landscapes. Issues are dealt from ecological, economic and social point of view.

Courses and training are provided in English. Some of the courses are offered in the tropics, in collaboration with VITRI’s local partner institutions. In most cases, the thesis research is also undertaken in a tropical and/or developing country.

Studies and VITRI can be conducted in various forms, including regular BSc, MSc, and doctoral degree programs, International MSc Programs of the Department of Forest Sciences, minor (25 ECT) in tropical silviculture, and through Summer School and special training courses.


Tavoite: Opintojakson jälkeen opiskelija tuntee pääpiirteissään maapallon metsien ekologisen luokituksen, eri ilmastovyöhykkeiden metsät, tärkeimmät puulajit ja niiden käytön, ja eri maiden metsätalouden pääpiirteet sekä maailman metsiä kohtaavat haasteet.

Sisältö: Kurssilla esitellään maapallon metsien ekologinen luokitus, ekologisesti ja taloudellisesti tärkeät puulajit sekä puulajien käyttö pääpiirteittäin erityisesti metsätaloudessa ja – teollisuudessa, eri maiden metsätalous, metsien muutokset.

Objective: After completing the course students will be able to identify and describe the basic principles of tropical production and land-use systems as well as major international agreements and policy processes relevant to tropical forests, forestry and land use.

Contents: An introduction to tropical crop, livestock, forest ecology, forestry and forestry production systems and principles of land use planning, agroforestry, environmental problems, human nutrition and food security.

Objective: To provide students with the basic concepts and practices of agroforestry systems worldwide. To describe the main biophysical and socioeconomic processes and linkages in agroforestry systems.

Contents: Definitions, concepts and classification of agroforestry systems. The main agroforestry woody species and their silviculture, productivity and management. The social and livelihood aspects of agroforestry. Overview of existing major global agroforestry practices.

Objective: The student will learn to explain structure and functioning of tropical forest ecosystems. The student will learn to identify factors affecting the biological diversity of tropical forests, and analyze options and constraints in the conservation of tropical forests.

Contents:  Evolution of tropical trees and forests, tropical environment (climate and soils), tropical biomes, tropical and forest formations, biological diversity, forest structure and functioning, processes and cycles, disturbance dynamics in the tropics, deforestation and other threats, conservation of tropical forests and landscapes.

Objective: The student will learn to identify and explain types of tree-based production systems in the tropics and compare different silvicultural systems applied to different types of tropical forests.

Contents: Forest area; deforestation, forest degradation, regrowth; main silvicultural systems used in tropical natural forests and plantation forestry; dryland silviculture; forest management planning; forests and livelihoods; community and small-holder forestry; management of non-timber forest products, managing forest ecosystem services.

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