International forestry experts gather in Rotorua

26 October 2018

Forestry experts from all over the world will arrive in Rotorua next week to meet with New Zealand’s forestry stakeholders. They will be using an internationally proven process to find pathways forward for several major opportunities and challenges facing forestry in New Zealand.

The ‘Tree Plantations in the Landscape’ (TPL) event uses a format developed by neutral international platform, the Forests Dialogue, who provide international leaders in the forest sector with an ongoing, multi-stakeholder platform for dialogue. Their process focusses on developing mutual trust, a shared understanding, and collaborative solutions to challenges in achieving sustainable forest management and forest conservation around the world. It is a joint event with the New Generation Plantations Platform.

The dialogue will focus on the role of tree plantations in the New Zealand economy and the resulting social and environmental impacts. It builds on issues raised from earlier TPL events in Brazil and Chile.

Participants will discuss new pathways to advance Māori forestry, sustainably increase forest production, and use of planted forests as a means to mitigate climate change. Discussions will also tackle the billion tree planting initiative and optimising land use to maximise production and environmental benefits.

Event organiser, Scion Principal Scientist and Chair of Sustainable Forestry at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Dr Tim Payn says, “Forestry has a bright future in New Zealand, but there are challenges and opportunities that we must face, so the industry can reach its full potential in New Zealand.

“There are many stakeholders in the planted forest industry in New Zealand, and many opportunities to work together to realise the opportunities – this event is a great opportunity to learn from international planted forest experts and share our knowledge with them.”

At the national level, the field dialogue will help strengthen a stakeholder network of key leaders from government, Māori, the forest sector, certification bodies, and the public to support policy initiatives around tree plantations in the landscape. Findings from the New Zealand field dialogue will provide learnings to inform the design and implementation of best practices for tree plantations globally.

The event will see 60 attendees visit Rotorua. They’ll spend two days visiting planted forests in the central North Island, followed by two days of dialogue. Following the event, a summary report from the co-chairs will be published online.

Scion and Toi Ohomai are organising and sponsoring TPL which runs from 29 October - 2 November. Support has also come from Te Uru Rākau and the MBIE national research programme ‘Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future’.