Consultation launched on draft review of Forestry Science and Innovation Strategy

The Forestry Commission is inviting contributions from interested parties on a draft review of the Science and Innovation Strategy for British Forestry (SIS).

The Strategy provides the context and framework for the research undertaken by the Forestry Commission to meet the needs of British forestry. It sets the objectives for future research commissioning programmes, including those commissioned from the Commission’s Forest Research agency, and provides indicators for measuring their success.

Evidence delivered through the strategy underpins policy development and operational practice. This is especially important to address the current challenges posed by pests and diseases. However, the research also provides the foundation for the sustainable forest management which is practised in the UK, as set out in the UK Forestry Standard.

Roger Coppock, Head of Analysts at the Commission, said, “Forestry research supports a wide range of sectors, including forestry, environmental and agricultural, as well as addressing the needs of urban society. Stakeholders rightly expect strong engagement from us, and we welcome this because ultimately it has benefits for the effectiveness of the strategy.

“This consultation draft is already the result of extensive stakeholder engagement in England, Scotland and Wales, and discussion with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Forest Service. Their feedback has provided a clear indication of the research needs for forestry across the UK, and these have, where possible, been incorporated into this draft.

“However, by responding to this consultation draft, stakeholders have a further chance to influence the direction and nature of our research programmes over the next five years to ensure they are meeting the forestry community’s priority requirements.”

The Commission is establishing a new Expert Committee on Forest Science to support the delivery of the Science and Innovation Strategy.

Following an open selection process in May, Professor Julian Evans OBE, FICFor, President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, has been appointed to chair the new committee. A request for notifications of interest for members to join the committee will go out shortly. Prof. Evans commented,

“I look forward to leading the new committee as it provides advice and expertise to help the Commission ensure that the science delivered under the SIS is of the highest quality and represents the best value for money in what is a very challenging time for Britain’s trees and forests.”

The draft strategy document and further information are available from the consultations pages of the Commission’s website at www.forestry.gov.uk/consultations, and the deadline for submitting comments is 4 October.

 

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