The Commonwealth Forestry Conference

The Commonwealth Forestry Conference is an international forum for foresters and all those with an interest in the forestry sector to exchange knowledge and experience and is hosted by different Commonwealth countries at approximately four-yearly intervals. It has been the custom to issue a Declaration or Recommendations at the end of each Conference, addressed to Commonwealth governments, especially to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

First Commonwealth Forestry Conference, 1920

The Standing Committee on Commonwealth Forestry (SCCF) was established on the occasion of the Conference in 1923, to provide continuity between one Conference and the next and take follow-up action on Commonwealth Conference recommendations. Each Commonwealth country is represented on the Committee, which is chaired currently by the President of the Commonwealth Forestry Association.

The first CFC took place in the UK in 1920. Discussions in the early Conferences were related to general aspects of forest management but themes have been introduced since 1968 to broaden discussions and focus them on the changing priorities of the forestry sector. At the same time, the programme has evolved with the emphasis in recent years less on plenary sessions and more on discussions in small groups.

Year Date Location Theme
1920 Jul 07 - 22 Great Britain (London) 1st Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1923 Jul 25 - Sep 07 Canada (trans-Canada) 2nd Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1928 Oct 22 - Sep 07 Australia and New Zealand 3rd Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1935 Sep 02 - 02 South Africa 4th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1947 Jun 16 - Jul 19 United Kingdom 5th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1952 Aug 11 - Sep 13 Canada 6th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1957 Aug 26 - Oct 10 Australia and New Zealand 7th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1962 Jun 25 - Jul 20 East Africa (Kenya, Tanganyika/now Tanzania, Uganda) 8th Commonwealth Forestry Conference
1968 Jan 03 - 27 India (New Delhi) 9th: Changing objectives of forest management
1974 Sep 04 - 27 United Kingdom 10th: The forest and global environment
1980 Sep 08 - 26 Trinidad & Tobago 11th: Forestry’s contribution to social and economic development
1985 Sep 08 - 22 Canada (Victoria, British Columbia) 12th: Investment in forestry – the needs and opportunities
1989 Nov 30 - 30 New Zealand (Rotorua) 13th: Forestry – a multiple-use enterprise
1993 Nov 30 - 30 Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) 14th: People, the environment and forestry – conflict or harmony
1997 May 12 - 17 Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) 15th: Forestry in a changing political environment: challenges for the 21st century
2001 Nov 30 - 30 Australia (Fremantle) 16th: Forests in a changing landscape
2005 Feb 28 - Mar 05 Sri Lanka (Colombo) 17th: Forestry’s contribution to poverty reduction
2010 Apr 02 - 07 India (Dehradun) 18th: Restoring the Commonwealth’s forests: tackling climate change
2017 Apr 02 - 07 India (Dehradun) 19th: Forests for prosperity & posterity
2021 Aug 15 - 18 Canada (Vancouver) 20th Commonwealth Forestry Conference

What Commonwealth Forestry Owes to the Conferences

  • Independent organizations that have been established as a result of the contacts made: Commonwealth Forestry Institute at Oxford, Commonwealth Forestry Bureau, Commonwealth Forestry Association.
  • The resolutions passed, at successive conferences.
  • A tremendous pool of literature (progress statements, conference proceedings, tour notes, professional papers) that are made freely available to the forestry profession at large, in all countries.
  • As government-sponsored events, the Conferences have helped forestry services in every Commonwealth country, to put their particular problems forcibly before the central administrations.