Source: Lyndon State. 5.18.2010 When Lyndon State College was accepted as one of five New England schools to participate in the Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s Project Compass initiative three years ago, the focus was on increasing the college retention and graduation rates of first-in-family, modest-income students (FFMI). In the midst of these efforts, project leaders discovered that there is very little information about the specific needs of and best practices in serving rural students—a surprising discovery, given that one fifth of the nation’s public school students are enrolled in rural school districts. The college also realized that there are many more students capable of pursuing a post-secondary education than those who do and that the College could best serve these students by coordinating with local PK-12 education providers to create a regional PK-16 network.Towards these ends, thanks to the efforts of Senator Patrick Leahy, Lyndon State College is pleased to announce the creation of the Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Rural Students. President Carol A. Moore announced the creation of the Leahy Center for Rural Students at the College’s 2010 commencement ceremony May 16.The central question to be answered by The Leahy Center for Rural Students is what are the expectations of FFMI students relating to their education and careers and when do those expectations solidify. Many potential FFMI students never see themselves as college graduates or perhaps assume they cannot afford a college education, even when they have the potential to thrive in the college setting. It is well known that a college degree increases the lifetime earning capabilities of an individual many fold, so it is important for these students to understand the options available to them and to support the students and their families as they navigate the unfamiliar territory of pursuing a college education. President Carol A Moore presents a certificate to Marcelle and Senator Patrick Leahy naming the Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Rural Students at Lyndon State College commencement Sunday, May 16, at the College.The Center for Rural Students began an in-depth longitudinal panel study this past fall under the direction of former Lyndon Prof. Rod Zwick, which will be carried on now by Center Director Heather Bouchey. The study will expand beyond the College to include students attending seven area schools that have been identified as the pilot schools in the creation of a regional PK-16 network. Ultimately, the findings of this study will inform how teachers, parents, schools administrators, business leaders and community members can work together in supporting students towards their full learning and career potential.The initial study will follow students individually and as a group from fifth grade through four years post-high school, to learn what influences a student’s decisions regarding higher education. “It is critical to understand where the college/no college decision is made,” said Zwick. “We need to help students make that decision in an informed way and encourage them to make their own individual education aspirations fit with their own future plans.”While not all careers require a four-year degree, most now need some sort of continuing education or training. While much is known about how urban students make these choices, little is known about rural, FFMI students. The Center for Rural Students will play an important role in changing that reality.On Friday June 18, The Patrick and Marcelle Leahy Center for Rural Students will be hosting a Vermont Education Summit at Lyndon State College for educators and community leaders from across the state to discuss how we can work together at the local and state level to help every Vermont student achieve their full potential along the PK-16 spectrum. This conference is being sponsored by AT&T. For more information, contact Heather Bouchey at 802-626-6444 or email@example.com(link sends e-mail).
…as EU-FLEGT agreement to be finalised by mid-yearStricter monitoring regulations and better market access for the logging sector is on the horizon as the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is expected to finalise the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) as a part of the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU-FLEGT) initiative, by the end of June 2018.GFC head, James SinghThe GFC said when the agreement is finalised it would create greater access and more lucrative market opportunities for Guyana’s forest products to the EU and other markets.A Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) is a legally binding trade agreement between the European Union and a timber-producing country outside the EU. The purpose of a VPA is to ensure that timber and timber products exported to the EU come from legal sources. The agreements also helps timber-exporting countries stop illegal logging by improving regulation and governance of the forestry sector.The Commission added that they are also embarking on initiatives to expand local and regional trade of forest products by improving marketing, product development and quality.Guyana joined the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative. The FLEGT system mandates countries to use the Wood Tracking System to tag logs and their stumps so that when it reaches the point of export it could be traced backed to the origin to ensure its legality. The system is not new to Guyana since they have been mandating loggers to tag their produce, so they can track them to ensure it is within their licensed agreement.The EU FLEGT Regulation of 2005 empowers the European Commission to negotiate (VPAs with timber-exporting countries; under these agreements, VPA partner countries ensure they only export to the EU legal products carrying FLEGT licences.Forest InventoryThe last time an inventory was done on the forest was in the 1950s and according to the GFC, having an inventory is critical towards better management of the resource. Hence, the reason for setting aside $120 million for the commencement of a national forest inventory.“With so much importance attached to the forest both in terms of timber production and more importantly the whole issue of climate change and environmental services, the Government has recognised the need to conduct a national forest inventory. The allocation (of $120 million) is to commence phase one of a three-year process,” the GFC notes.The monies, according to the Commission, will be utilised to develop modern inventory methodologies, the reporting platform, data collection design, sample plots and pilots of over 200,000 hectares of forest.According the Commissioner of the GFC, James Singh, with the establishment of the forest inventory, Guyana would be moving towards harvesting based on species rather than just filling a quota hence resulting in the better management of the precious forest.“The forest inventory gives you a sense of what the resource base is so if you know what the resource base is, you can market properly, we can plan our operations and we can have a long-term plan rather than cutting on what is available. It also helps with the better management of the forest,” he explained.The GFC noted that the inventory is critical to supporting the Green State Development Strategy.