The Twentieth Commonwealth Forestry Conference is jointly organized by the Standing Committee on Commonwealth Forestry, and the  University of British Columbia – Faculty of Forestry. The Conference is under the aegis of the Canadian and British Columbia governments.

University of British Columbia – Faculty of Forestry

The University of British Columbia is a public institution located in Vancouver, British Columbia with over 61,000 students. 22 % are international students from over 155 countries. UBC ranks consistently among the top 40 in the world (Times Higher Education Ranking) and is the number one international university in North America in 2016/17. It has 20 Faculties, 11 Schools and 3 Colleges. Research funding nears $550 million and the University has a $12.5 billion in economic impact to the province.

British Columbia is home to several of the world’s largest lumber companies and the province is the world’s largest supplier of softwood lumber to world markets. The forest industry contributes $2.5 billion in revenue annually to the BC government. Employment in the industry is growing with direct and indirect employment currently at about 150,000. 24% of all manufacturing jobs in BC depend on forestry. More than 40% of the province’s regional economies are based on forestry activities, supporting 55,000 direct jobs in more than 7,300 businesses.

The Faculty of Forestry comprises of three Departments, two University Research Forests and the Centre of Advanced Wood Processing. The Faculty offers five undergraduate and five graduate programs. As such, it is the largest forestry school in Canada. Programs cover a breadth of topics from biology of trees, innovative wood products and forest engineering, through ecological, societal and cultural themes as they relate to the forest. Students learn to use the latest technology available to manage forests thoughtfully and efficiently. The Faculty is an exceptionally strong academic unit and has continuously ranked among the premier forestry schools in the world with a large community of forestry-oriented scholars. UBC Forestry receives the highest level of forestry research funding of any forestry faculty in Canada. It is also recognized worldwide as one of the most advanced and international forestry schools, by the number of international students, also by the amount of incorporated international forestry content in both learning and research activities.

More about UBC Faculty of Forestry >>

Commonwealth Forestry Association – Standing Committee on Commonwealth Forests

We are reminded on a daily basis that the natural environment in which we live is vitally important for our well-being.  Sustainable forest management plays a central role in our future, which in turn requires the training and development of forestry professionals.  That’s where the CFA comes in. We work in all corners of the Commonwealth and beyond to promote the wise management of trees and forests, and we do this in five main ways:

  • publish world-class science in our peer-reviewed forestry journal, the International Forestry Review, and the latest global forestry news and views in the CFA Newsletter.
  • facilitate networking of professional members and organisations and exchange of knowledge via quarterly newsletter, website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.
  • encourage professional excellence and promote career development using a range of awards, such as the Queen’s Award for Forestry, the Young Forester Award and the Young Scientist Research Award.
  • carry out a range of specific projects in the field that have been identified by our membership.
  • promote capacity building by helping to organise training courses, workshops, and conferences.

CFA is also home to the secretariat for the Standing Committee on Commonwealth Forests, which is comprised of representatives of all of the forest departments from throughout the Commonwealth.  The committee provides a unified voice on forestry matters to governments and international meetings and organises the Commonwealth Forestry Conference, an event which takes place every four years.

Read more about CFA >>

International Organizing Committee (IOC)

John Innes
Conference Co-Chair

Alan Pottinger
Conference Co-Chair

Ben Chikamai
Executive Secretary of the Network for Natural Gums and Resins in Africa (NGARA)

Alina Lehikoinen
International Forestry Students Association, CFA rep

Geraint Richards
Head Forester, Duchy of Cornwall, UK

Gill Petrokofsky
Oxford Long-term Ecology lab, University of Oxford

Marilyn Headley
CEO and Conservator of Forests at the Forestry Department, Jamaica

Rob de Fegely
Director, Margules Groome Consulting Pty Ltd

Tony Bartlett
Forestry Research Program Manager, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)


John Innes
Chair LOC
Dean and Professor UBC Faculty of Forestry | Chair of the Commonwealth Forestry Association


Terry Sunderland
Professor, Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences, UBC Faculty of Forestry

Intu Boedhihartono
Associate Professor and Director of the Master of International Forestry Program, Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences, UBC Faculty of Forestry

Jeff Sayer
Professor, Department of Forest & Conservation Sciences, UBC Faculty of Forestry

Hosny El-Lakany
Adjunct Professor and Director of International, UBC Faculty of Forestry