The Forest Practices Authority

Looking back – looking forward conference

Recognising 30 years of the Tasmanian forest practices system

‘Looking back – looking forward’ was a fitting theme for the conference convened by the Forest Practices Authority (FPA) to mark the thirty-year anniversary of the forest practices system (FPS) in Tasmania. It achieved all of its three objectives:

  • to consider the progress made in the first 30 years of Tasmania’s forest practices system
  • to use this perspective to assess trends and possibilities in Tasmanian, national and international forest regulation, particularly in relation to the review of the Forest Practices Code
  • to launch the State of the Forests Tasmania 2017 booklet and highlight the full report (as tabled in Parliament).

The two-day program provided participants with a ‘deep dive’ into the FPS, which proved a very effective model for those of us less familiar with the breadth and depth of the system. The scene was set early in the program with an introduction to the development and early implementation of the FPS across Tasmania’s forest landscapes from various perspectives, including current and former FPA staff, contractors, and a private forest owner. Subsequent sessions provided participants with further insights into the adaptive management and continual improvement capacity of the FPS, and a clear understanding of the range of ecological, economic and social considerations addressed by the FPS such as heritage, biodiversity research and management, Aboriginal heritage, soil and water, compliance and harvest planning processes.

The inclusion of presentations by Forest Practices Officers, and from Tasmanian and Australian Government agencies, the private sector and non-government organisations, together with national and international academics and consultants, made for a rich and stimulating event. This was complemented by the contribution – during question times and out-of-session – by participants from other states and overseas. The conference was further strengthened with the agenda running in plenary for all but a break-out session on Day 2, which led to participants having a shared experience of the various discussions and debates.

The field trip to the Derwent Valley following the conference provided delegates with a direct understanding of many of the issues raised, and the chance to expand on many of the discussions that began during the conference; as well as exposure to Tasmanian summer conditions that were somewhat unexpected for visitors ...

In all, 115 people attended the conference from Tasmania, interstate, New Zealand and Canada. This included 102 full registrations and 13 day registrations; 77 delegates attended the conference dinner on the Monday evening; and 38 delegates attended the Derwent Valley Field Tour on Wednesday. The conference program included 30 presentations and small group discussions. The presentations and feedback are available below.

Session 1: Keynote address Ben Cashore (Professor, Environmental Governance & Political Science, Yale University)

Session 2: Tasmania’s forest practices system
The history of the forest practices system  Peter Volker
How the forest practices system operates  John Ramsay

Session 3: Developing the system: examples of adaptive management and continual improvement
Introduction Fred Duncan
Biodiversity Sarah Munks (FPA Biodiversity Manager) and Dydee Mann (FPA Ecologist) 
Earth Science and Cultural Heritage Peter McIntosh (FPA Earth Sciences and Cultural Heritage Manager)
Compliance Stephen Walker (FPA Compliance Manager)

Session 4: Can Tasmania’s forest practices system be a useful national and international model?
Rob de Fegely (Co-Chair, Forest Industry Advisory Council)
Claire Howell (Manager, National Forest Inventory, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences)
Graham Wilkinson (international consultant)

Session 5: Regulation and certification
Penny Wells (Director, Resources Policy, Dept of State Growth Tasmania)
Fred Gale (Associate Professor, Politics and International Relations Program, UTas) NOT AVAILABLE
Ross Hampton (‎Chief Executive Officer, Australian Forest Products Association) NOT AVAILABLE
Simon Dorries, (Chief Executive Officer, Australian Forestry Standard Limited/PEFC Australia)
Jacki Schirmer (Associate Professor, University of Canberra and FSC Australia Director)

Session 6: Possibilities for developing the forest practices system
Forest manager Suzette Weeding (‎General Manager Forest Management, Sustainable Timber Tasmania)
Landowner Rob Downie (private forest owner)
Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania Matt Schlitz (Operations Manager, AHT)
Harvesting Contractor Colin McCulloch (Project Manager, Arbre Forest Industries and Training Hub)
Environmental NGO Peter McGlone (Director, Tasmanian Conservation Trust)
Forest Practices Officer representative Robin Dickson (Chair FPO Reference Group)
FPA staff Amy Koch (Research Biologist, FPA)

Session 7: Discussion groups on developing the forest practices system
Peter Kanowski (Professor of Forestry, ANU)  15 mins Summary of ground covered so far Peter Kanowski
Group discussions feedback

Content last modified December 19, 2017, 11:46 am