Forest technology: Interest ramping up says FIEA

Wednesday 15 Dec 2021

 
Every year one major forest technology series is run in this region. It’s designed by and for Australasian forestry resource managers, inventory foresters, researchers and tech developers. It’s the one event every year where remote sensing, GIS, mapping and forest inventory specialists, and for the first-time last year, tree crop and silvicultural managers - get-together.

It’s independent. It’s run by this region’s leading forestry technology events company, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). With lockdowns and restrictions forced on all of us by Covid-19, as reported in mid- October, rather than cancelling the event or rolling it over to the back end of 2022, it was decided instead to postpone it for just a few months.

With the rules now in New Zealand re events attendance and vaccination rates right up where the Government has been aiming, the timing for late February next year is again attracting keen interest from across the industry and adding to the many physical and virtual registrations that had already been received for this major forest technology update.

The format for the annual technology series that’s been run in both countries since 2007 has been slightly modified. The format again will enable planning with some degree of certainty for ForestTECH 2021-22 delegates, presenters and exhibitors.

So, what’s the format?

1. One location. Like 2020, the physical event (on-site presentations, exhibitions and workshops) will again be run in just one location this year, Rotorua, New Zealand.

2. Live links from the New Zealand event have been set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua. The live virtual linkage is going to ensure international delegates can still actively be involved early next year. The last time the event ran, in November 2020, a record number of international delegates from over 20 countries were able to pick up this option. On-line questions from virtual conference delegates will be able to be made to all presenters - live.

3. Two distinct themes. This was trialed in 2020 for the first time. Overwhelmingly the written feedback told us to keep with this same split in focus for the next event. In addition to the usual technology updates on remote sensing, new data collection technologies and forest inventory management, a second day will be focussing on mechanised planting and automated silviculture. European technologies are already well advanced and have been trialed and used commercially on flatter terrain by larger forestry companies in both New Zealand and Australia.

4. Increased international involvement. In addition to New Zealand presenters, key technology presenters and forest companies from Canada, Finland, Germany, South Africa, Chile and Australia will all be presenting at ForestTECH 2021-22.

5. Additional half-day workshops. Three additional half-day pre-conference workshops for those delegates attending Rotorua have been set up for delegates. Details on each are contained on the website.

Note: Programme details and further information can be found on the event website.



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