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Purpose

To identify and benefit from opportunities to substantially increase the economic contribution and effective climate mitigation benefit of Welsh Forestry Industries by 2030, through the setting and achieving of strategic targets in the following key areas:

Forestry

Investment to meet and exceed 4,000 hectares of new planting per annum with the goal of increasing carbon sequestration and wood fibre supply for downstream green industries.

Construction

Increase the use of wood fibre in construction as a major contribution to achieving zero carbon in new build and major retrofit projects.

Circular Economy

Improving resource efficiency, performance and technological advancement of the timber supply chain including recycled wood and fibre.

Aim

To deliver the partnership’s purpose via the development of Government policy and industry actions.

The partnership must support the long-term strategic development of the productive forest industries and their contribution to the Welsh economy, Welsh society, and climate change mitigation targets.

The partnership will be a thought leader for the industrial forestry sector and be a focal point for the timber and fibre using supply chain. Its wide-ranging role will include creating opportunities for conventional and emerging types of forestry, and highlighting the range of economic benefits that can be derived from all aspects of the supply chain. Environmental planting for financial return and developing timber goods for substitution into existing supply chains are current examples of this.

The integrated nature of the forest industry provides the opportunity to deliver environmental, ecological, and social benefits at a scale greater than most other industries. Success requires delivery of sustainably managed resources for future generations and the embedding of wood-fibre/timber as resource well beyond the green recovery. This requires the partnership to embrace a long term strategic mindset of active delivery.

Objectives

The key objectives of the Partnership will be to:

  • Co-create future Environment, Economy & Housing policies to optimise growth for and benefits of a sustainable forest industry.
  • Develop and catalyse innovation within the supply chain, including achieving new planting targets and expanding the opportunities/added value uses for wood fibre.
  • Highlight the benefits of Welsh timber to existing and new markets.
  • Establish strong links between the forestry and construction industries to promote wood fibre as the material of choice in the construction sector.
  • Communicate the positive role of forest industries in contributing to the Welsh economy, nature-based solutions and climate change targets, to the broader Welsh Government, Wales’s political parties, associated partnering industries and organisations and additional stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with the public and private sector to identify skills & training shortages and develop a proactive response to the sector’s needs.
  • Raise awareness of the partnership to the wider supply chain and showcase the collaborative outputs of Welsh Government and the Forest Industry.
  • Promote the common goal of more trees, more timber, and increasing value in the forest industry for Wales

Guiding principles

Central to the operation of the group is a partnership between industry, government, agencies and others, dedicated to understanding and overcoming the barriers to the development of the forest industries sector and co-developing solutions. It will draw on members’ expertise and that of invited external contributors.

Chair

The industry proposes that the partnership be co-ordinated by Confor and initially chaired by a representative from the Welsh Government Forest Policy whilst an external industry chair is identified. The group will review the governance and membership of the forum after 12 months to ensure that it is best suited to achieving the objectives of the partnership.

The appointment of Chair is generally for a term of two years with the option of renewal for a further two years.

Meetings

The Partnership will meet at least 2 times a year, with members of the partnership meeting as required to deliver the prescribed work programs. If required, task and finish groups may be appointed to allow increased frequency of meetings and deliver task orientated goals.

Locations will vary and members will be encouraged to host meetings if they have access to suitable facilities.

Unless otherwise agreed, notice of meetings will be forwarded by email no later than two working weeks prior to the date of the meeting. Papers will be circulated at the same time or as soon as practicable thereafter. Notes of the meeting will be circulated/posted to the website within 4 weeks of the meeting.

Governance

The Welsh Government Forest Policy branch will provide a secretariat function for the group including arranging meetings and circulating minutes. They will endeavour to ensure that dates and times that are convenient for the majority of members of the forum. Meetings may be face to face or digitally.

Membership

Membership may be drawn from the whole of the timber industry supply chain, including end-users of timber, skills/trainers and developers of innovative technologies from other industries. Those invited to join the partnership are appointed as individuals based on their recognised area of experience, knowledge or expertise. To encourage forward and free-thinking, the group should try to establish as diverse a membership as possible.
Membership shall be reappointed on a biannual basis up to a maximum of 6 years. Individuals become members by direct invitation from the Chair, with the agreement of the WFIP. If desired additional interim advisors may be admitted at the partnership’s discretion.

Alongside core membership of the partnership, group meetings may be attended by policy officials from other areas of Welsh Government where the agenda requires.

Core:
Ceri Witchard/Jon Travis – Land, Nature and Forestry, Welsh Government
Nigel Elias – Foundational economy, Welsh Government
Sarah Laing-Gibbons – Housing and regeneration, Welsh Government
Anthony Geddes – National Manager, Confor
Oliver Hughes – Gresham Estates
Gary Newman – Woodknowledge Wales
Andrew Sowerby – Confor Wales Chair
Chris Emery – Kronospan
Jonathan Poynton – Pontrilas
David Edwards – Tilhill
Ruth Jenkins – Head of Natural Resources Management Policy, NRW
Victoria Rose-Piper – Head of Business Support Services, NRW
Dominic Driver – Head of Land Stewardship, NRW

Topic specific attendees:
Dr Andy Rees OBE, Head of Waste Strategy Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division
James Owen/Jon Westlake – Land Management Reform Unit
Hugh Morgan/Jane Mathias – Rural Payments Wales