4 Key Takeaways from the Institute of Chartered Foresters National Conference 2019

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 in News

The Trackplot team, Andrew Miller who is Business Development Manager and Emma Thomas who is a Director, recently attended the ICF National Conference in Oxford. The conference attracted experts from across the globe to discuss the issues facing the industry. Today we report on the key takeaways from the event that we should consider:

1. The industry faces challenging times

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, addressed the crowd via video at the start of the conference. He highlighted the devastating effects of deforestation and climate change is having on forestry and called for an increase in conservation. He emphasised that the work of the forestry industry “is of critical importance not only to the future of our planet and the people who inhabit it but also to the countless species who share it with us.

2. We need to embrace a global perspective

When protecting forests, we need to take into account the perspectives of those directly affected. Georges Bazongo, Director of West Africa Operations for Tree Aid emphasised the importance of a holistic approach to conservation. “There has been an opportunity for Tree Aid to support forest action through Forest Governance processes that recognise the rights and duties of the local user. Decentralise responsibility for managing forests to district authorities and communities”.

3. UK’s leadership is paramount

Frances Seymour, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, emphasised that the role the UK needs to play in conservation. “Tropical deforestation is a major contribution to current global climate emissions, forest protection and restoration are an even larger part of a climate solution,” says Frances. To do this Frances emphasised the role the UK has to play in leading the way toward conservation. “Rich countries are part of the problem and need to contribute to the solution.”

4. The foresters of the future

In His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales opening address, he expressed his optimism and excitement toward the next generation of foresters in attendance at the ICF conference. The next generation of foresters were not only in attendance but speaking too. Lacey Rose, founder of Women in Wood, discussed the critical role mentors and colleagues have played in her flourishing career. She highlighted the demographic gaps that our industry is plagued by and stressed the important work those in the industry must do to encourage young people into forestry.