By: The Working Forest Staff
The 20th Commonwealth Forestry Conference will bring together more than 186 speakers who will share their knowledge of the most pressing topics in forestry today from their homes and offices located in 46 countries in 17 time zones.
Hosted by the Faculty of Forestry at UBC from August 16-18 2021, the Conference will foster one of the most unique dialogue experiences to date by bringing together worldviews on topics from changing politics and an unprecedented global pandemic to global market shifts and climate change challenges such as extreme weather and wildfire projections.
“To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever produced a virtual conference in the field of forest sciences that brings together so many forestry experts from around the globe,” says UBC Faculty of Forestry Dean and President of the Commonwealth Forestry Association, John Innes. “The accessibility that this format allows – for presenters and participants alike – will enable the exchange of so many more perspectives than a traditional conference format on forestry topics that affect our global future in both the short and long term.”
Keynote speakers and presenters will address the most pressing issues facing the forest sector globally including climate change and its extreme weather impact, conservation, Indigenous forestry, urban forests, social issues, forest policy and economics, new markets, communication, and education as well as careers.
Among the keynote speakers is Dr. Suzanne Mavoa from the University of Melbourne who will present her research that investigates the interplay between urban nature and human health and well-being. Another talk, delivered by Julian Elder, the CEO of Scion, a Crown research institute in New Zealand, will cover ways in which key actors may be engaged in driving not only the mitigation and adaption needs resulting from climate change but also the opportunities that the global move to a circular bio-economy offers.
Cambridge University award-winning speaker Michael Ramage, among other noted experts, will be featured in a special session on New Markets and Applications: Building Our Future that will highlight everything from recent trends in building with wood and bamboo to the evolution of mass timber construction at UBC.
“We are thrilled that the event will be held in Canada once again,” says Alan Pottinger, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Forestry Association. “This will be the fourth time over the last 100 years that Canada has welcomed the heads of forestry from other Commonwealth countries, and the first time the Conference will have such a minimal carbon footprint through being conducted entirely online.”
The Conference is possible in part due to the generous support of the governments of Canada and British Columbia, Forestry Innovation Investment, the Association of BC Forest Professionals, Canada Science Publishing, and the Forest Products Association of Canada.