Friday, 22 February 2019
The young forester who wants to "change the face of modern forestry"
This young forester, and self-described “environmental warrior”, wants to “change the face of modern forestry”.
Alfred believes that all foresters are environmentalists at heart.
“In fact, I think anyone who has an interest in or concern for the land, the plants, the animals on earth is at heart an environmentalist."
"I would also include anyone who is concerned about people’s well-being because protecting, enhancing, and generating renewable products from our environments is needed to feed, house, and sustain all life on Earth.”
Alfred is a young forester working at FSC certificate holder, Port Blakely, in New Zealand. He sees sustainable forestry as a means for improving “the life of all the communities directly or indirectly through resources, recreation, or employment.”
As a self-described “environmental warrior”, his approach to forest management is imbued with his environmentalist philosophy. “Environmentalism affects my approach to forestry by forming the basis of how I view everything from relationships to operations.”
“I have a responsibility as a forester for managing significant areas of land within New Zealand, and I must do what I can to help ensure that the land and it’s environmental and ecological functions are not degraded in any way.”
Working at an FSC certified operation gives Alfred “confidence and pride"
Alfred says he has a duty as a forester to make sure that the land “maintains the ability to support healthy forests, communities, and ecosystems for generations to come. That’s the beauty of forestry, the long term vision you must have to make significant decisions.”
Working at an FSC certified operation gives Alfred “confidence and pride in the fact that what I am doing in my day to day is best practice and that the environment and the communities in which we operate are being properly looked after."
"I am very biased in the fact that I think the company I work for is the crème de la crème of forestry operators in NZ but the FSC certification gives, like I mentioned previously, the credibility to help back up that claim."
"Knowing that what I do as a job is actually helping to meet NZ’s climate commitments, that we are helping to protect rare threatened and endangered species, that we are growing a carbon negative resource to be used both locally and globally makes it all worthwhile.”
For Alfred, FSC “serves a crucial role in backing up environmental and social claims that forestry companies make."
"Without an independent certifying body how would anyone have faith in what a forester says as he raves about the benefits of his operation, or of the vital role that production forests play in meeting global resource demand and carbon commitments?"
FSC helps to improve the image of responsible forestry by ensuring that our sustainability claims attached to consumer products are traceable and credible.”
Meet the Future Foresters
Alfred is one of the founders of the Future Foresters, a group of young, like-minded New Zealand foresters that want to change perceptions about forestry in New Zealand, and create a supportive community for young foresters, who were new to the industry.
While Alfred and the Future Foresters want to improve the perception of forestry in New Zealand, they acknowledge that there are areas in which they can improve.
“There are areas in which we can improve, and the best way to improve is to bring in new ideas and new ways of thinking via individuals who come from non-forestry backgrounds or young people who approach the industry with a different lens to those who have been in the game for a long time.”
The Future Foresters officially launched in June 2018, they hit the ground running with networking and professional development events, a website, a promotional video that has already received thousands of views, and a presence on National Forestry committees.
As Alfred says “2019 will be our first full year of operating and we are looking at growing our momentum” They plan to hold more “professional development and networking events, more access into schools and career expos for promotion, and having a pivotal role in the Australia/NZ Joint Institute of forestry conference in August in Christchurch.”
You can find out more about the Future Foresters online:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/futureforesters/ (@futureforesters or #futureforesters)