Cooperation between Australia and China in the field of forestry has been germinating for some time, but the first signs of real strength and maturity in the relationship had only just took hold.
Recently, the Institute of Foresters Australia National President Rob de Fegely signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the president of the Chinese Society of Forestry, Zhao Shucong.
“This MOU builds on the significant interaction between our members and provides an important vehicle for building the relationship as our economic ties grow,” de Fégely said. “China is now our major forest products trading partner and so it makes sense for us to trade ideas and skills as well as products.”
The MOU is a culmination from the number of years in building relationships between both organisations, and the recent China Australia Forestry Exchange Program was the catalyst to develop a more formal and higher level relationship. Earlier this month in Sydney, a forestry investment forum was also held and is specifically aimed at Chinese investors.
“It was fitting that the Chinese Forestry Society also signed MOUs with the Japan Forestry Society, the Korean Forestry Society and the Canadian Institute of Foresters at the same time. All countries are important trading partners of Australia and similarly have a long history in forest management and development,” said de Fégely.
The Chinese Society of Forestry was founded in 1917 and is one of the oldest academic societies in China while the Australian Institute of Foresters is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.