Korcz, N. and Lewoń, R. 2021. Social media as an opportunity or a blind alley in social communication and forest education? – Experiences from Poland. Baltic Forestry 27(2): 289–295.

   The article characterizes the experiences, problems, and prospects for the development of forest education on social media, which in Poland has been carried out by the Państwowe Gospodarstwo Leśne Lasy Państwowe (National Forest Holding ‘State Forests’) over the past several years. The activity of foresters (employees of the State Forests with a University Degree) on social media allows contact with the public, i.e. the transmission of knowledge about forests to a wide audience, a rapid response to difficult discussions, often attacking foresters about forest management taking place in public spaces. In addition, social media has great potential for communication between scientists and the public, and even for scientific collaboration (so-called citizen science; scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur scientists). As a result of training in this attractive area of social media, the passion and experience of foresters is increasing the audience on social media for State Forests every year, all of which translates into the need for evaluating and monitoring the data from passive educational methods.

Keywords: social media, forest education, informal education, environmental education, social communication, conflicts, citizen science, foresters