The ‘Growing confidence in forestry’s future’ programme aims to help the New Zealand forestry industry achieve its goal to double export earnings from $4.7 billion to $12 billion by 2022.
The programme focusses on creating more productive and resource-efficient commercial forests, while ensuring that intensification is within environmental limits.
Spanning six years (from 2013 to 2019) the programme involves a multi-disciplinary team of scientists at Scion with collaborators from other crown research institutes and universities.
The programme is a joint initiative between Scion, forest growing industry and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It has been allocated $3.375 million per year funding from the Ministry and $1.6 million per year from the Forest Growers Levy Trust managed through a joint Forest Owners Association/Farm Forestry Association Research Committee.
Through the research programme, Scion aims to shift forest management to ‘precision forestry’. This is defined as planning and conducting site-specific forest management activities and operations to improve wood product quality and utilisation, reduce waste, increase profits, and maintain the quality of the environment.
The programme is organised under three main research areas:
1. A systems approach to maximising benefits from existing forests.
2. Building more productive, high quality forests for the future.
3. Sustainability under intensified regimes.
A fourth part of the programme is technology translation.