Forest Bathing International Magazine, Issue 1 - Page 9

Remote processes like the Delphi strategy can supplement this.

But who organizes, convenes, synthesizes, and reports on such a process? Here is where a representative steering committee is needed, to prevent the conflicts-of-interest that could arise where participants are hoping to use the process for their own competitive advantage. 

My hope is that the Congress portion of the Forest Bathing International Conference, Congress, and Celebration in July will be a forum to begin this discussion.  I envision this congress, which will be held in California, as being a first step on what will likely be a multi-year process. I expect spirited debate, perhaps at times contentious, but if we come with a spirit of humble inquiry--and if we stay anchored to our sense of purpose--we may achieve a great work that supports and empowers us all.

A Call for Delegates

Delegates to a congress focused on discussing standards should be affiliated with an organization, business, or institution that has demonstrated a strong commitment to forest therapy. Forest therapy should be a central focus of the organization's efforts or research.

It is my hope that the work of the congress will eventually culminate in the publication of a consensus document that speaks for a truly international group of experts, and that this document will serve as guidance for training and policy-making organizations.

If You Are Organizing

A Forest Therapy Conference 

To make this a truly inclusive and international effort, consider making space within your conference for a meeting of delegates who will take up the same questions, review the work done to date, and add to it incrementally.

If you are on a conference organizing committee and would like to discuss this further, please contact me at amos@natureandforesttherapy.org

I believe strongly in the power of forest therapy, and as I watch it developing throughout the world, I have high hopes that we can work together to co-create a beautiful, powerful practice that is widely embraced and helps humanity find our way home to sustainable way of living. Please be a part of this effort.

Learn more:

forestbathinginternational.org/conference/congress

Questions for an International Forest Therapy Congress

1. Does it make sense to develop an international definition of what is forest therapy? If so, what should the definition include?

2. Does it make sense to develop an international set of standards for what forest therapy guides and leaders should know and be able to do? If so, what standards are essential?

3. Does it make sense to work toward creating an independent international accreditation organization for forest therapy training programs? If so, where do we begin? What perspectives should be included? What leaders in the field should guide the development of the process? How can we keep it clean and free of conflicts of interest?

4. What opportunities do delegates identify for moving the field forward?