Seminar: Professor Jeff Burley, “Forests, trees and business in supporting developing countries”

Past Event

25 February 2011, 5:15pm

School of Geography and Environment
South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY

Professor Jeff Burley, CBE, Director-Emeritus, Oxford Forestry Institute, Emeritus Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford

For centuries foresters have recognized the multiple values of forests and, since the UNCED in 1992, these have become increasingly appreciated by policy makers, the media and the public. Many attempts have been made to quantify and value the various services and products that arise from trees and forests. However, at both international and national levels much of this has been initiated "top-down" with governmental agency or major commercial company involvement. The former have frequently been ineffective and the latter have often provoked criticism of their failure to consider social and environmental attributes adequately. Relatively little attention has been paid to promoting, encouraging and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries that can effect land use change and enhancement while providing a range of social and environmental benefits through natural forest management, plantation establishment and agroforestry operations. Such enterprises will require some pure and applied research and will need professional managers with corporate and technical management capability in addition to market developers.

Jeff Burley took an honours degree in Forestry at Oxford (1961) and an MF (1962) and PhD (1965) at Yale where his thesis concerned the genetic variation of Sitka spruce. He then headed the Forest Genetics Research Laboratory of the Agricultural Research Council of Central Africa for four years, living in Zambia and working also in Malawi and Zimbabwe. He returned to Oxford in 1969 and held three successive posts in Oxford University – Senior Research Officer for Forest Genetics and Tree Improvement; Lecturer in Wood Structure and Properties; Director, Oxford Forestry Institute, and Professor of Forestry. Variously in these roles he provided education, research, advice and information plus actual consultancies to many countries and agencies throughout the world. In Green College (now Green Templeton College), Oxford, he was a Fellow (25 years), Vice-Warden (4 years), Development Fellow (3 years) and Emeritus Fellow (current).

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