The discussion with a small group of forestry professionals focused on the opportunities and challenges facing the sector. Port Blakely was represented by Phil Taylor, Port Blakely’s Managing Director in New Zealand and Alfred Duval, a regional forester for the company and the 2017 recipient of The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry.
“It was a privilege to join His Royal Highness and to hear from some our industry’s current and future leaders,” said Port Blakely’s Taylor. “I was encouraged to hear in particular the perspectives and obvious passion of the future foresters in attendance and to also see the importance His Royal Highness places on the role of sustainable forest management for both the New Zealand economy and our nation’s efforts to combat the climate crisis.”
Among the topics covered were the challenges presented by climate change, the threat posed by pests and disease and the importance of continuing to strengthen the forestry sector’s social license to operate. The potential contribution of forestry globally and to the New Zealand bio-economy in particular, along with the diverse career opportunities offered by the sector, were identified as significant opportunities.
“Our discussion highlighted many of the reasons I’m so optimistic about the future of our industry and the positive impact we can have,” noted Duval who, as the inaugural recipient of the sustainable forestry award in 2017, has previously met with the Prince of Wales. “We’re facing some daunting challenges, but I’m confident we’re doing what needs to be done to make a difference.”