The Forest Dialogue and New Generation Plantations are convening a Tree Plantations Dialogue in Australia, with the Australian National University and University of Melbourne
The objectives of an Australian dialogue are developed with relevant partners, including the Australian government, which has strong policy drivers to expand tree plantations and to increase tree cover in rural landscapes for timber industry development, carbon sequestration, catchment and biodiversity conservation benefits. These include the Federal Government One Billion Trees policy and the development of regional hubs to support forest industry development. The Victorian Government recently announced a plan to the transition of native forest-based industries to a plantation-based resource. This policy requires consideration of wider stakeholder views on where and how this plantation resource can be developed. Recent research by the University of Melbourne has identified the challenges and failings of past policy and the need to engage effectively with a broader stakeholder group to generate new approaches to the design and development of plantations. The Victorian Government has also been provided with advice on a major opportunity to increase landscape carbon stocks through farm forestry.
Potential questions for dialogue include:
- How to build support wider support for increased trees in rural landscapes for commercial timber production?
- What are the right policy settings for sustainable expansion in the plantation sector?
- How can governments stimulate private sector investment in plantations?
- How can the co-benefits of plantations be quantified and monetised?
- What are the best mechanisms for planning, communicating benefits, and building capacity in the plantation sector?