About the Forest and Nature Conservation Master
The Wageningen Forest and Nature Conservation Master programme focuses on the conservation and sustainable management of forest and nature, and the related international and national policies and societal processes. As a result of this multifaceted approach, this study programme is interesting to both environmental science and social science students. You can choose from three specialisations: Policy and Society; Management; Ecology.
Compare the Master Forest and Nature Conservation with similar Dutch programmes
The Environmental Biology Master (Utrecht University) offers the specialisation Ecology & Natural Resource Management with a focus on sustainable management and nature protection. In comparison, the Wageningen MFN Ecology of Forest and Nature Conservation specialisation focuses primarily on an ecosystems at a global level. It is about understanding the natural processes that lie at the basis of the structure, the composition of the types and the functioning of forests and natural areas. It addresses the relation with the environment (soil, water, atmosphere). Knowledge of plant and animal ecology is applied in forest management and in the overall conservation of biodiversity throughout the world.
International Development Studies and Social Geography (University of Amsterdam) shares common elements with the Wageningen MFN Policy and Society specialisation. We take a more integral and societal approach to forest- and nature management, addressing economics, management as well as policy and communication. Examples of study subjects are recreation, deforestation and certification of durably produced wood.
Biology (University of Groningen, University of Amsterdam, Leiden University and Radboud University Nijmegen) shares common elements in their Ecology specialisation with the Wageningen MFN Ecology specialisation. The location of renowned research institutes like Alterra and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) in Wageningen makes a significant difference: they offer students a wide range of thesis subjects and opportunities. Furthermore, the MFN Chair Groups focus more on fundamental societal research in relation to the application of forest and nature management.The Wageningen MFN management specialisation is unique in the Netherlands. Namely, aspects of wildlife, vegetation, forest management and forest ecology are integrated with environmental factors like soil type, water and decision-making processes. This also entails economics-, communication- and policy-related elements.
Compare the Master Forest and Nature Conservation with similar WUR programmes
The Biology Master Conservation and Systems Ecology specialisation is similar to the MFN Ecology specialisation. However, the focus of the Biology programme is on organisms, populations and interactions between types. In contrast, the MFN specialisation focuses on the abiotic environment and society; this specialisation looks at the ecosystem, the landscape and the earth as a whole.
The Earth and Environment programme also focuses on the abiotic environment, with subjects ranging from soil type microbiology and microchemistry to the earth’s climate. It attempts to clarify those ongoing processes through scientific methods. Forms of life like soil type organisms, plants and, human beings play an important role, which makes this similar to the MFN programme.
The Environmental Sciences programme focuses primarily on finding sustainable solutions to problems like environmental pollution, degradation of ecosystems and climate change. Natural sciences as well as socio-economic processes play an important role. The MFN programme is similar in that it also looks at the natural sciences from a societal perspective however it focuses mainly on the functioning of ecosystems, the management of forest and natural areas, and the conservation of biodiversity.