Murdoch University's Professor Bernard Dell’s contribution to sustainable forestry in China was acknowledged in September when he was the only foreign expert invited to speak at the 50th Anniversary of the Research Institute of Tropical Forestry (RITF).
Professor Dell has collaborated with the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF) for more than 20 years on finding ways to increase the sustainable productivity of eucalypt plantations across southern China, and is also a Visiting Professor to the Academy.
“In the past two decades I have witnessed the tremendous change in the forest landscape in southern China and the huge role that RITF has played in this transformation,” Professor Dell said.
“There are now nearly 2.5 million hectares of eucalypt plantations in China.
“It is truly amazing how this research has so effectively reduced China’s dependence on imported wood fibre, which has made a huge difference to the livelihoods of many rural workers and farmers in southern China.
“Over the past two decades, the eucalypt research in China has also greatly benefitted the emerging eucalypt plantation sector in Australia.”
The Chinese Academy of Forestry further acknowledged Professor Dell’s contribution to China’s forestry sector by appointing him as a member of a special advisory committee for cultivation technology of valuable tropical tree species.
During the visit Professor Dell had the opportunity to visit plantations in Zhaoqing District to discuss emerging forest health issues and to present a lecture on climate change and forest health to Institute staff and PhD students.