Over the next few FSA newsletters, we want to shine the spotlight on the research, researchers and research groups who are paving the way for forestry in the future. Working at the frontier of our current forestry knowledgebase to expand the myriad of opportunities the Sector can and could yield. These are the scientists responsible for propelling forestry into the future, for shaping our Sector so it meets, and exceeds, the needs and expectations of future generations.
Research and Development, or R&D, plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of the South African Forestry Sector, with R&D focus firmly placed on enhancing productivity and sustainability and reducing loss while reducing the Sector’s environmental footprint.
FSA coordinates the sector’s collaborative R&D, ensuring over-arching needs are met through a targeted R&D framework approach, agile enough to evolve with the ever-changing local and international pressures placed upon forestry.
FSA’s approach to R&D is built upon three pillars:
- Strategic focus areas – using a decision-based framework that considers:
- The ultimate goal of enhancing sector competitiveness and sustainability;
- Focus areas common to the sector as a whole; and
- Areas that score highly in terms of risk (be it economic, regulatory or reputation-based) an impact (probability and severity).
Two strategic R&D focus areas: forest protection and environmental sustainability have been prioritised. Within each, several specific areas of focus have been highlighted.
2. Developing high-level R&D capacity and service – sector-wide R&D must be of the highest standard. To achieve this FSA has developed a series of R&D platforms, Supported Subject Experts (SSE) and Chairs to lead sector-wide R&D
3. Prioritise funding – FSA only directly funds R&D that is common to all members’ needs, as well as being aligned with the strategic focus areas outlined above.
To learn more about FSA’s research platforms, consortiums and partners – click here