The AFoCO Science and Technology Exchange Partnership Program (STEP Program) is aimed at providing quality training to enhance knowledge and skills in specific fields of forestry. STEP Program participants gain research experience in specific fields of forestry through an intensive one-month training program at forestry-related institutions. The program is carefully designed for mid-level government officials of the Parties in efforts to narrow the developmental gap among member countries and cultivate professional skills and leadership qualities of the participating officials.
AFoCO’s STEP program is jointly implemented with partner organizations and institutions to bring about diverse scientific and technical expertise such as the classification of forest plant diversity, seed collection, seed management, tissue culture, seed viability test, and propagation, as well as arboretum design, construction, and operation.
Eligibility & Selection Criteria
- Active government officials of the Parties nominated by respective Representatives to the Assembly
- At least one year’s experience in the field identified for each batch
- Academic background in forestry and/or forest or environment-related fields
- Fluent in spoken and written English
- Good health
The 2019 STEP Program is organized in collaboration with the Baekdu-daegan National Arboretum (BDNA), which specializes in arboretum design and management, seed collection and preservation technologies, and biodiversity conservation strategies.
BDNA collects and exhibits the alpine plants and native plants of Baekdu-daegan, the core ecological axis of the Korean peninsula, for conservation and research purposes. The Arboretum is the largest in Asia and the second-largest in the world. It is also home to the world’s largest underground Seed Vault, which is dedicated to the permanent storage of wild plant seeds.