Forest Pest Management Research Consortium - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Forest Pest Management Research Consortium

Forest Pest Management Consortium

Forest Pest Management Research Consortium

Background

Historically, the most economical and time effective method of achieving reduced forest invasive incursions through Consortium support and involvement had, until 2018, been mainly through herbicides.

Broadly, the need for alternative pesticides, certification and regulatory changes coupled with increased industry requirements and the development of more advanced technologies, has left room for consortium involvement in research, technology and innovation expansion that can provide the industry with improved options for best practice IPM outcomes.

Who we are

We are an esprit de corps group of 25 active and engaged stakeholders who form an IPM Research co-operative across Australia, representing RDC forest growers, chemical companies and forest research interests in Australia.

Current membership

Consists of 25 active and engaged representatives

  • Forest Growers – 14
  • Chemical Companies – 5
  • Consultancy – 1
  • Research Institute – 1
  • General – 4

Funded by annual member contribution and FWPA matched funds plus significant in-kind support.

All members have input into activities, which are prioritised and overseen by a nominated Steering Committee.

USC acts as the Consortium's coordinator, secretariat to the Steering Committee, and is the contract manager for agreements with FWPA and the various research providers.

Our purpose
  • Respond to a key industry need to increase the productive capacity of the Australian plantation forestry industry which is dependent on forest growers to minimise impacts of forest pests and diseases.
  • Provide expert advice and representation to the APVMA and State Regulators.
  • Develop preventative measures against new pests from point of initial field trials to full label registrations to support forest best practice solutions.
What we do
  • Increase the productive capacity of the Australian forestry plantation industry.
  • Ensure continued availability of effective, environmentally and socially acceptable chemical control and other options to mitigate undesirable forest pest invasions through coordinated forestry – specific research effort.
  • Seek new alternative chemistry and integrable technological solutions to support forestry best practices whilst contributing to more socially acceptable practices and reduced impact on the environment.
  • Develop and promote industry best practice and provide considered scientific advice to the public, regulators, legislators and industry.
  • Conduct Screening and Operational Trials with tested chemistry, best practice options, new practices, and other projects.
  • Provide education and knowledge transfer to stakeholders via direct engagement, reports, publications, workshops and field days.
  • Provide support to external projects in other industries where complementary synergies are identified to prevent duplication.
Consortium benefits

Industry’s productive capacity can be increased through refining best practice control.

Industry can coordinate and prioritise research with chemical producers to meet industry needs.

Direct engagement with chemical producers, legislators and regulators will reduce costs and time for the appraisal of new chemistry and retain required existing chemistry use.

Best practice chemical use refined by research and results promoted and communicated to all stakeholders, enhancing efficiency and social acceptability.

Industry can pro-actively seek new chemistry with chemical producers which can replace current chemicals.

Use of the Consortium’s expert knowledge input into policy development, regulatory reform and stakeholder submissions (eg single national framework, spray drift, and biosecurity discussions).

The program aids participation by forest growers in forest management certification schemes specifically in the continuation of best practice for chemical use.

Future outlook

Build on current consortium activities to include a broader scope of options that includes:

  1. Trials to demonstrate reduced environmental and social risk through alternative new chemistry;
  2. IPM approaches that focus on RD&E ventures driving innovations in advanced technology and solutions (data digitalisation, UAV monitoring of forest pests and diseases, inventory, geospatial and remote sensing and AI) to support precision forestry;
  3. Secure greater access to larger collaborative funding initiatives.

Contact

Dr Anne-Marie Smit
Research Fellow
FPM Research Consortium
Forest Research Institute

Ph: +61 7 5459 4635
M: 0422 161 594

Email: asmit1@usc.edu.au