John Innes | University of British Columbia | Episode 14: A Global View of Forests
Will and John Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, explore the differences between forests in the UK and North America, the future of forests through the lens of researchers and educators, the surprising ways in which wood products show up in our day to day lives, and what sustainable forest management truly means.
A true educator, the dean walks us through some of the more nuanced terminology— like deforestation and forest degradation— and how managing for future forests presents a unique challenge due to timing of social change and the length of time to grow a tree.
“When we look at a forest I think what we have to think about is what do we expect from that forest today, and what would we expect from it in the future. We have to meet today’s needs but at the same time we have to meet tomorrow’s needs. And that’s kind of getting very close to the original definition of sustainability.”
In this episode you’ll also hear about:
- the connection between childhood activities that get you “out there” and a sense of stewardship
- the relationships between a culture and its forest in different parts of the world
- forest product certifications, and how to know when a product comes from a well managed forest
- the range of forestry programs available at UBC and the diversity of the students internationally who register for them
- the importance of urban forestry and access to green space
- placing North American forests in a global context
- and what those outside the sector can do to be better stewards of the forest.
“We need to tell people that we are the stewards of the forest, not the destroyers of the forest.
That’s something that really we’ve not been very good at doing.”
John Innes is Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. He teaches in the field of international and sustainable forestry. He is Chair of the Commonwealth Forestry Association (since 2010), Chair of the Standing Committee of the Heads of Forestry Commonwealth Countries, Chair of the Association of University Forestry Schools of Canada, a Board Member of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations and Chair of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Education Coordination Mechanism. He is a member of the Advisory Group on Forestry Education of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne School of Land and Environment at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor at four different Chinese universities. John also serves on the Genome BC and National Forestry Sector Steering Groups, and the Forestry and Fibre Work Group of the BC Forest Sector Bio-Economy Transformation Council.
John came to British Columbia in 1999, having previously worked as a Section Head in the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research. Since arriving in BC, he has worked on a range of issues associated with forest management. He is actively involved with climate change research, particularly its effects on forest ecosystems and the development of appropriate management strategies for adaptation, and in 2007 was part of the IPCC team that shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
As Dean of the UBC Faculty of Forestry, he is encouraging greater international involvement of the Faculty, and entrenching its position as a leading Faculty of Forestry in the world. Under his leadership, the Faculty has taken significant steps toward broadening the curricula and academic content to reflect changing realities in the forest and conservation sectors, also enhancing interdisciplinary and continuing education for forestry professionals and scholars from around the world.
University of British Columbia, Faculty of Forestry | Forestproud.org | Raven Media Group | Photo credit: Rae Tamblyn