Policy Roundup – November 2021

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Our monthly policy and research blog updates you on the latest work at the Institute and how you can get involved.

Institute News

Our Position Paper on the Forestry Skills Shortage

Last month we launched a campaign on the forestry skills crisis that was covered in October’s Policy Roundup. We want to keep the momentum going so we encourage all members to read the executive summary or the full paper and please sign our call to action to endorse the urgency. Shireen outlined some of the issues in this excellent piece in the Guardian.

Sign here

 

We have since received formal responses from Defra, the Department for Education and the Scottish Government. These have all been supportive of the points made in our paper but there is much more to do. Please click the links below to read each response.

Lord Goldsmith – Minister of State (responsible for domestic/international forestry policy)

Alex Burghart MP – Minister for Skills

Màiri McAllan MSP – Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform

Edwin Poots MLA – Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

We are planning a response to the Department for Education as their letter outlined a lot of green jobs initiatives but our concerns that these simply do not work for forestry have not been alleviated. This is particularly well timed given this announcement about the national curriculum and we plan to work with the Environmental Policy Forum to influence this agenda.

Exeuctive Director Meets new Ministers in Wales & Scotland

Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor has now had productive meetings with the Wales Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, and with Scotland’s Environment Minister Màiri McAllan. As the professional body operating UK-wide we have a lot to offer, whether on supporting degree apprenticeships, feeding into governance arrangements, setting up a leadership programme or supporting a new Forestry Hub, contributing to reviews of land-based skills or capitalising on the energy for green careers to encourage new entrants into forestry.

Trees for the Future Conference

We attended the Trees for the Future conference at the University of Birmingham which was excellent. The Institute’s Executive Director and Vice President, Shireen Chambers MBE FICFor and Geraint Richards MVO FICFor, both spoke powerfully on how we can bring research and practice together and we are considering how we can support this agenda as an Institute.

Chief Executives Green Roundtable

This month, there was also a meeting of the six-monthly Chief Executives roundtable where CEOs from across the built and natural environment professions spoke about shared issues like the skills crisis, COP26 and diversity, taking the chance to collaborate on solutions and share practice.

FISA

We are working more closely with FISA, supported by our FISA Steering Group representative, Paul Johnston FICFor. We plan to do a lot more to communicate the work of FISA to members beginning next month.

Consultation Responses

With the UKWAS and the GB Biosecurity Strategy consultations both closing on 30 November, we are preparing to submit a response. Please keep an eye on our consultations page in the next few weeks to read both published responses.

Launch of Trees Call to Action Fund

Finally, we submitted an expression of interest to the £6 million Trees Call to Action Fund and hope to hear in three weeks whether we have been invited to submit a full proposal. Our project would be an ambitious training platform on UKFS, paired with a bespoke leadership programme to build the forestry leaders of the future. Unlike the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, one of the explicit purposes of this fund is for skills-based projects so we are crossing our fingers!

News & Research from Across the Sector

  • COP26 and international agreement to stop deforestation by 2030 – read
  • Landmark Environment Bill passed into law, bringing developments on Biodiversity Net Gain and the Duty to Consult – read
  • EU agriculture ministers welcome the publication of a new EU forest strategy for 2030 – read
  • Guidance on the new outbreak of Phytophthora pluvialis in Cornwall and Devon – read with associated symptom guide here
  • Industry-wide survey on woodlands and forests in Wales – take
  • Forestry Commission: updated guidance on tree planting and woodland creation – read
  • Forestry Commission: eAlert from 18 November with new guide for planning new woodland – read
  • Scottish Government: extra funding for nature restoration and biodiversity projects – read
  • Defra: Farmers to benefit from £27 million investment for productivity-boosting equipment – read
  • Congratulations to the winners of the All England Woodland Resilience Awards – see winners
  • TTF paper outlines some of the carbon-related impacts and benefits of timber in construction – read
  • Architects Journal suggests Whitehall is more receptive to timber in construction – read
  • Help PhD student Karina Corada from Imperial College London with her survey on urban planting – take

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