National Conference 2021: Climate Smart Forestry – A Focus on the Fundamentals
During this time of increased political, social and economic focus on the importance of forests, the role of professionals in managing our trees and woodlands has never been more prominent or under scrutiny. It’s critical that the ‘right tree, right place’ approach is understood and applied to a high standard across the sector.
The Institute’s National Conference 2021 is focused on ensuring our members are both equipped and empowered to deliver effectively on the UK-wide tree planting aspirations currently proposed by the government. Increasingly our forests and woodlands are being relied upon to deliver against a wide range of objectives, including climate change mitigation, water quality, wood products, biodiversity, wildlife management, recreational use and public health benefits.
Meeting these aspirations will require expertise in all areas of the science and art of forestry, but crucially, we need a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as site selection, soils, species choice and silvicultural practices that underpin the successful creation and management of woodlands. What are the future needs for woodlands we’re planting today and how does that choice affect our decisions?
The UK government has a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and has set an ambitious target of 30,000 hectares/year of new planting by 2030 to help meet this commitment. Together with an overhaul of agricultural support across the UK, this brings opportunities as well as challenges. We need to be prepared to meet those challenges.
National Conference 2021 will be held on 30th September and will be a one-day online event focusing on how these challenges have been met overseas. Delegates will hear from a superb international line-up of forestry experts, researchers and practitioners ‘on the ground’. We’ll look at what’s currently being done well, what could be done better and how professional foresters can adapt their skillsets to prepare for the future demands of our sector. Our themes are Site, Species, Silviculture and Woodland Management.
National Conference 2022 is planned to be a physical event in late April (date to be confirmed) and will continue this theme from a UK perspective.