As part of the United Nations International Day of Forests on Sunday 21 March 2021 the professional association representing some 1,000 scientific and professional forest land managers in Australia has highlighted the importance of forest science and the skilled, experienced forest managers that drive sustainable forest management in Australia.
The Institute of Foresters of Australia and Australian Forest Growers President, Bob Gordon said sustainable forestry was key to a prosperous and healthy future for Australian society and the environment.
“As the sixth most forested country in the world, Australia’s forest sector plays a critical role in ensuring that forests can continue to benefit the nation’s environment, climate, communities and economy for generations to come,” Mr Gordon said.
“Forests are one of Australia’s greatest natural assets, and Australia has first class forest management skills, experience and people, and an international reputation for sustainable management of our forests.
“However, as a nation, we can always do more. We need to manage this precious resource actively and adaptively across all land tenures including National Parks, State forests and private land to achieve best outcomes now, and into the future.
“To guarantee the future of Australia’s forests we need more investment in forest science and forest managers. A passive conservation approach to our forests is not working and will not help us secure the future of our forests. “A key path to achieving this lies in working with Indigenous Australians, who have looked after the land for tens of thousands of years.
“We must respect and embrace the knowledge and experience of Traditional Owners and participate in two-way capacity building to help manage our forests sustainably, together.
“As climate change has an increasing impact on our forests, we need a greater focus on year-round land management and bushfire prevention activities to help our forests to adapt. To do this, we need to ensure we continue to invest in human capital and support those equipped with the required specialised skill set and knowledge.”
The United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
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