Ladies and gentlemen,
I was delighted to learn that your two organizations, The Institute of Foresters of Australia and the New Zealand Institute of Forestry, would be joining forces in 2015 for this important conference in Creswick, Victoria.
The title of the conference, 'Beyond tenure: managing forests across the landscape' conveys a significant message, that of the vital need for collaboration and cooperation amongst forestry professionals across forest landscapes. If I may say so, the title could be further expanded beyond 'landscape' to embrace 'the world'. For just as trees and forests can span multiple tenure systems, so many of the threats to our trees and forests do not recognize national and international boundaries. The impacts of climate change, tree pests and diseases - to name but a few of these threats - are factors that we are all having to learn to deal with; if our trees and forests are to continue to deliver the many benefits that we increasingly understand they do, then foresters and the Institutes that represent the forestry profession must increasingly work together on the international stage.
In recent years a valuable relationship has developed between my Duchy of Cornwall in the United Kingdom and the Canadian Institute of Forestry. This has led to all manner of exciting initiatives to improve knowledge transfer and find common solutions. Of particular note, The Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry and The Prince of 'Wales Forest Leadership Award, both products of this relationship, have been developed to recognize those young forestry professionals with a passion for sustainable forest management who will undoubtedly become leaders in the forestry sectors of their respective countries.
I would very much hope that this example of collaboration, and your own as displayed at this conference, could be extended for the good of all; that established Forestry Institutes, such as the I.F.A. and N.Z.LF., might work more closely together and reach out to those countries that are desperately in need of such professionalism amongst forest practitioners.
It seems rather fitting that you are gathering together as The Institute of Foresters of Australia celebrates its eightieth anniversary in 2015 and I can only hope that this conference proves to be a fitting celebration. Eighty years may seem a long time to us, but it is not so long in the world of trees and forests. Yours is a profession truly concerned with the 'long-term', and more than ever your vision, and your commitment to that vision, is needed in this world. I wish you every success this week and I look forward to receiving news of your deliberations.