Royal stands tall on sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment

Prince of Wales’ pas­sion for forests and the nat­u­ral world is well known

Australian Forests and Timber - - Front Page -

The strong con­nec­tion be­tween roy­alty and forestry was ev­i­denced when the Prince of Wales par­tic­i­pated in a forestry round­table meet­ing hosted by the In­sti­tute of Foresters Aus­tralia in Queens­land’s Moss­man Gorge.

“It was a once in a life­time meet­ing and I be­lieve a meet­ing of minds about the chal­lenges we face in man­ag­ing forests not only in Aus­tralia but around the world,” said Rob de Fégely, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of Foresters of Aus­tralia.

Round­table at­ten­dees in­cluded Senator Anne Rus­ton (As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture), Queens­land Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­tural In­dus­try Devel­op­ment and Fish­eries Mark Furner, and James Tread­well (Pres­i­dent of the NZ In­sti­tute of Forestry).

The Round­table started with a wel­come to coun­try and smok­ing cer­e­mony un­der­taken by Kuku Yalanji el­der Mr Roy Gib­son.

His Royal High­ness then took a guided walk on the Baral Mar­r­janga el­e­vated board­walk in the rain­for­est with Brett Stall­baum (Cape York man­ager for Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice) along with Rob de Fégely and Geraint Richards (Head Forester for the Duchy of Corn­wall).

The Prince has a well­known pas­sion for forests and the nat­u­ral world. In re­cent years, he has pro­vided sup­port to the pro­fes­sional forestry in­sti­tutes in Aus­tralia and New Zealand and prior to that in Canada and United King­dom.

For­est re­searchers have the In­ter­na­tional Union of For­est Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IUFRO) to unite them but prac­tis­ing for­est man­agers cur­rently have no in­ter­na­tional fo­rum. The In­sti­tutes are in the process of es­tab­lish­ing an In­ter­na­tional Net­work of Pro­fes­sional Forestry As­so­ci­a­tions and the In­sti­tute of Foresters of Aus­tralia is the ini­tial sec­re­tariat.

The in­dus­try is also strug­gling to re­cruit young foresters to man­age our forests for con­ser­va­tion and pro­duc­tion. It has lots of spe­cial­ists but recog­nises a need for the broad prac­ti­cal skills of foresters to en­sure all the val­ues of forests are pro­tected.

Man­ag­ing forests with­out foresters would be like a health sys­tem with­out GPs, Mr de Fégely said.

To as­sist this process His Royal High­ness has sup­ported two awards for young foresters, The Prince of Wales Sus­tain­able Forestry Award and The Prince of Wales Lead­er­ship Award. The lat­ter be­ing an ex­change op­por­tu­nity to work in for­est man­age­ment in an­other coun­try.

The two re­cent re­cip­i­ents of the Prince of Wales

Sus­tain­able Forestry Awards, Mr Jesse Mahoney (from Aus­tralia) and Mr Al­fred Du­val (from New Zealand), were present at the round­table. Both ex­pressed their thanks to His Royal High­ness stat­ing how much the award and recog­ni­tion meant to them.

Senator Rus­ton de­scribed the round­table as “a great op­por­tu­nity to high­light the sus­tain­able prac­tices of Aus­tralia’s for­est sec­tor”.

“It was an hon­our to join His Royal High­ness to dis­cuss the in­te­gral role of Aus­tralia’s na­tive forests and plan­ta­tions in pro­vid­ing a re­new­able source of tim­ber, and the role trees can play in deal­ing with in­ter­na­tional is­sues, such as cli­mate change,” Min­is­ter Rus­ton said.

“The round­table meet­ing was an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to re­new Aus­tralia’s com­mit­ment to a high-tech, car­bon pos­i­tive, re­new­able forestry fu­ture.

“The Prince of Wales has been a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate of sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment and how it can help solve eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues fac­ing the world.

“Aus­tralia stands res­o­lute to meet these grow­ing chal­lenges.

“It was in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous of His Royal High­ness to join us to dis­cuss Aus­tralia’s place at the fore­front of global sus­tain­able forestry prac­tises.

“Not only does the Aus­tralian do­mes­tic tim­ber in­dus­try sup­port many of our re­gional com­mu­ni­ties, it has the po­ten­tial to pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­pan­sion of both indige­nous and farm forestry.”

Min­is­ter Rus­ton said the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing a new forestry fu­ture for Aus­tralia un­der­pinned by an in­te­grated and sus­tain­able land­scape ap­proach to the man­age­ment of all our for­est re­sources.

NZ pres­ence

“We dis­cussed New Zealand’s place in world forestry and the goal of plant­ing 1bil­lion trees over 10 years,” Mr Tread­well said.

“His Royal High­ness has EHHQ SURPRWLQJ WKH EHQH¿WV of forests for decades and most peo­ple are only just ZDNLQJ XS WR WKH EHQH¿WV forests bring to all peo­ple in terms of clean wa­ter, re­cre­ation, car­bon se­ques­tra­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and gen­eral well­be­ing,” said Mr Tread­well.

“I was very pleased Al­fred, one of our fu­ture foresters, was in­vited to at­tend. Al­fred is only 24 and at the be­gin­ning of his forestry ca­reer; this was a great hon­our for him, but also high­lighted the im­por­tance of fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity to His Royal High­ness.”

Mr Du­val said the visit was in­spir­ing and had strength­ened his re­solve to pro­mote IRUHVWV DQG DOO WKH EHQH¿WV they bring to all peo­ple. He un­der­stands, as the in­au­gu­ral win­ner of the Prince of Wales Sus­tain­abil­ity Cup, that he has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­liver a new forestry fu­ture for New Zealand, which is un­der­pinned by sus­tain­able prac­tices and an in­te­grated ap­proach to land use.

“The round­table meet­ing was an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to re­new Aus­tralia’s com­mit­ment to a high-tech, car­bon pos­i­tive, re­new­able forestry fu­ture”

Kuku Yalanji el­der Roy Gib­son and the Prince of Wales.

Rob de Fegely (Co-Chair For­est In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of Foresters of Aus­tralia, Chair­man of Sus­tain­able Tim­ber Tas­ma­nia, Di­rec­tor Mar­gules Groome Con­sult­ing, His Royal High­ness the Prince of Wales, As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Anne Rus­ton.

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