7 December 2023, QEII Centre, Westminster
Dr Eilidh Forster, a former Woodknowledge Wales funded researcher Bangor University, and Gail Merriman, Head of Timber Industrial Strategy, Welsh Government, will speak at Confor’s UK Policy Conference – ‘Green Growth: Why Wood is the Missing Low-Carbon Link’. Forster will cover the carbon story of UK wood and the benefits of circularity while Merriman will present lessons from Wales in prioritising domestic wood use.
“This exciting conference will provide further evidence that there is unstoppable momentum behind the forestry and timber construction agenda throughout the UK. Woodknowledge Wales will work to ensure there is synergy between the National Wood Strategy for England and the Welsh Government’s Timber Industrial Strategy, without compromising the unique opportunities that exist in Wales.” Gary Newman, CEO, Woodknowledge Wales.
Part of a coordinated programme to push forestry and wood as a crucial element of the UK’s economic and environmental future, Confor’s Chief Executive, Stuart Goodall, will will start the day by calling for a move From Evidence to Action across a range of important industry issues. He will then discuss those issues in conversation with Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison MP. Confor has also invited the Labour Party to share its forestry and wood vision.
Incorporating the official launch of The National Wood Strategy for England, the 2023 UK policy conference will examine the potential for wood to provide huge benefits for the UK’s economy and environment. Held at the QEII Centre, Westminster, on Thursday 7 December 2023.
Confor members can book now at the specially-discounted rate of £50+VAT, which includes access to all sessions, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Non-member tickets are £75+VAT.
Shaping policy to overcome forestry and wood industry barriers
The reports calling for far greater domestic wood production in the UK are piling up like a stack of timber by a forest road. The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) laid down the challenge clearly in its report in July; importing 80% of the timber we use in the UK can’t go on and it’s time to produce much more here.
The conference comes at a crucial time as political parties shape policy ahead of the 2024 General Election. It’s vital that the forestry and wood industry identifies those specific policy actions which we need the next UK Government to take, to help our industry thrive – and deliver those significant economic and environmental benefits.
The conference will hear from new Forestry Minister Robbie Moore MP – his first major engagement as a Defra Minister – and will also include the launch of the National Wood Strategy for England. Lead author Tom Barnes will discuss the key points of the strategy and next steps, while Naomi Matthiessen will respond on behalf of Defra.
The event will look at how we take forward the EAC report in a meaningful way, while future skills, carbon, timber construction, and woodland management will also be on the agenda.
We’ll hear from politicians, the Climate Change Committee and representatives from across our industry and beyond – to join the dots and ensure that wood is at the heart of a future built on green growth.