FWPA announces $10 million investment into forestry research

by | Feb 26, 2024

Australian Forest

Poyt448 Peter Woodard, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) has recently announced the first tranche of successful forestry research proposals from the July 2023 open call for proposals.

The open call for forestry research proposals attracted 29 responses which were reviewed by a scientific advisory panel of experts and a committee of grower members, which were then subjected to a benefit-cost analysis by an independent economist.

Twelve proposals totalling $10 million have been approved by FWPA for an investment of $5.5 million through Forest & Wood Products Australia. The projects will be funded through industry levies, voluntary cash contributions, and matching funding from the Australian government – with significant in-kind contributions by industry and research partners as well.

The successful proposals were submitted by nine research providers and involved growers from all major commercial forest-growing regions of Australia. The research will address a range of challenges across forest health and biosecurity, plantation silviculture, detection of threatened fauna, impacts of fire, phytosanitary options for log exports, and alternate species from current tree crops – many by harnessing various remote sensing and molecular technologies.

“FWPA is proud to continue our support of world-class research that will have real and positive impact on the businesses of Australia’s commercial forest managers – research that our members value,” said FWPA Forest Research Manager, Jodie Mason.

“We thank the many research leaders and industry partners for their considerable efforts in developing high-quality proposals and look forward to working with them to implement the projects, commencing in the coming months.”

Sharon Occhipinti, General Manager of Forest Services, HVP Plantations, and an executive member of FWPA’s Grower Research Advisory Committee, added, “FWPA’s investment in these projects receiving funding as part of [the] announcement demonstrates how researchers can work with industry to solve problems identified by forest growers.”

Several proposals are still under evaluation, and it is expected that further announcements will be made in the coming weeks, following the completion of the approval process.