Lord Deben to speak at Westminster forestry conference

15 March 2017

Confor is hosting a policy conference at Westminster in June featuring major speakers from outside forestry as well as from within the sector.

Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, will speak at the event, Planting The Future: How Trees Can Solve 21st Century Problems. The former Secretary of State for the Environment (as John Gummer MP) will present on forestry's huge potential contribution to meeting climate change mitigation targets. 

Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, who covers forestry in her role as Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has agreed to give the opening address at the conference on June 7th.

Other contributors - including Professor Dieter Helm, Chair of the Natural Capital Committee - will look at the opportunities for forestry in a post-Brexit world to deliver for the economy, environment and communities. 

The event also looks at practical actions needed to deliver positive change, with presentations on the challenges faced by large planting schemes. Andrew Vaughan of Tilhill will talk about Jerah in central Scotland, where 1.3 million trees were planted in 22 weeks in 2015. Andy Howard will discuss the progress of Doddington North, a proposal for the largest productive planting scheme in England for 20 years. 

The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry, Chris Davies MP, will chair a political panel discussion at the end of the conference.  

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, who will also speak at the event, said: “It has been a very busy year for forestry, with Brexit followed by forestry inquiries and debates at Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. 

“Forestry’s profile is reaching new heights and there is growing interest from other sectors in how forestry can help them achieve their economic and environmental objectives, not least in the context of Brexit, which could create significant opportunities for our sector. 

“It is heartening, and vitally important, that speakers like Lord Deben and Professor Helm are keen to engage with us - and we are delighted Thérèse Coffey has agreed to open the event. I urge members and the wider forestry community to take part in what promises to be the major forestry policy event of 2017."

Tickets for the event - on June 7th at RICS, Great George Street, Westminster, 10am-3.45pm - are £96+VAT, with a 25% discount for Confor members: £72+VAT.  These conferences have been sold out in the past, so early booking is advised; email liz@confor.org.uk or call 0131 240 1412 to reserve a place.