International Research

INFTA is involved in a range of national and international research projects. As one initial key project, INFTA has developed the International Core Curriculum of Forest Therapy (ICCFT). It constitutes the curricular framework for the training of Forest Therapy Guides conforming to and setting the international standard. This has been accomplished in 2017 through national and international collaborations with the assistance of 120+ experts from over 20 countries.

International Handbook of Forest Therapy cover

A significant accomplishment was the compilation of the International Handbook of Forest Therapy in 2019 edited by Kotte, Li, Shin and Michalsen with a contribution of some 50 experts from around the world. For the first time – and after some 30+ years of research – the domain of Forest Therapy as a Public health practice was defined and the state of research in the area of Forest Therapy was summarized.

Hangzhou Forest Therapy Dialogue

Since 2018, INFTA has been invited repeatedly to assist a range of top-level research and policy institutions in the Peoples Republic of China with regards to fostering and developing Forest Therapy. INFTA feels privileged and honored to assist the Chinese Society of Forestry, represented by its Chairman, Mr. Zhao Shucong, and its affiliated member, the Chinese Society of Forest Therapy, it their endeavours. INFTA liaises directly with Mr. Liu Lijun, President of the Chinese Society of Forest Therapy, and an outspoken advocate for Forest Therapy as a Public health practice. In this context, INFTA appreciates the ongoing assistance – particularly with regards to translations between Chinese/Mandarin and English – of Prof. Ye Bing, Deputy Director of the Academy of Forestry.

Charité logo

In 2020, INFTA joined the Charité Medical University Hospital – one of the world’s most renowned medical research facilities having brought about several Nobel price winners in medicine, biochemistry and physiology – and the Forstbetrieb Sachsenwald (a privately-owned forest management service in charge of the Sachsenwald, the largest forested area near the metropolitan region of Hamburg in North Germany) in putting forth a joint research proposal to the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft). This was done after extensive consultations with the German Federal Forest Ombudsman for Forest Affairs, Caius J. Caesar. The research project was aimed at assessing the benefits of Forest Therapy as a Public health practice across different types of forests in Germany. Results are expected to be published in early 2024.

Belgian forest

In Germany, INFTA supports a new and innovative research project funded by the Department of Health and Age Care in Bavaria. The key research question is to find out how Forest Therapy can help reduce the time of rehabilitation for geriatric patients who underwent hospitalization and surgery. In this project, INFTA advises the management of the Klinik Wartenberg, one of the oldest and most reputed medical rehabilitation clinics in Germany at which the pilot study is carried out.

Further, INFTA was privileged to resume international collaboration with the Korea Forest Service and
Chungbuk National University. Instrumental here was Prof. Dr. Won Sop
Shin, the leading voice of Forest Therapy in South Korea.


Feel free to read and download interesting research papers and informative background material about Forest Therapy, Shinrin-yoku and mindful walking from around the world at our references page.