Champion of forest innovation new chair of Responsible Wood

Continuing the great work by Dr Hans Drielsma AM

Wed 22 Feb 23


A champion of forest innovation and research who has worked in Australian and international forestry for 45 years has been elected new chair of Responsible Wood, the governing body for PEFC in Australia.

Dr Tony Bartlett, who has been a board member of Responsible Wood since September 2020, continues the great work achieved in sustainable forestry by outgoing chair Dr Hans Drielsma AM.

Outgoing chair of Responsible Wood Dr Hans Drielsma AM (second from left) is presented with a timber gift by Simon Dorries, CEO, Dr Tony Bartlett, incoming chair, Jonathan Tibbits, marketing and communications, and Matt de Jongh, sustainability manager.

The announcement was made at a board meeting in Brisbane on February 21.

As forestry research program manager for the Australian Centre for International Research Centre (ACIAR), Dr Bartlett has managed 25 projects in 14 developing countries between 2010 and 2018.

He has worked in various forestry and fire management roles for the federal, ACT and Victorian governments and on forestry development projects in Nepal and Vanuatu.

Dr Bartlett has a Doctorate (PhD) from the Australian National University, a Masters in Science (MSc) from the University of Oxford, and a Bachelor of Forest Science (B. ForSci) from the University of Melbourne.

Dr Drielsma was presented at the board meeting with a hand-crafted chest made from rose mahogany  (Dysoxylum fraserianum) from a certified forest in southern Queensland   in recognition of his distinguished career in the forest industry, as a strong advocate for sustainability, and the promotion of the highest standards of forestry across Australia and abroad.

For more than 20 years Dr Drielsma has been actively involved in the establishment, shaping and growth of Responsible Wood, formerly the Australian Forestry Standard.

In his time, Dr Drielsma has led many notable initiatives:

  • Establishment of Australia’s first forest sustainability standard.
  • Global endorsement through PEFC.
  • Growth of certified area in Australia to about 20 million ha.
  • The Responsible Wood certification scheme with the largest area of certified forest in Australasia, making it the largest national certification scheme in the southern hemisphere.
  • Leading the successful rebrand from the Australian Forestry Standard to Responsible Wood.
  • Serving as chair through the revision to the new joint Australian and New Zealand sustainable forest management standard.

Dr Drielsma has also served as a board director for PEFC International.

A professional forester with post-graduate qualifications from Yale University in forest policy and natural resources sociology, Dr Drielsma has held key positions in the forestry sector including managing director of Forests NSW and executive general manager of Forestry Tasmania and was a member of the CRC for Forestry board for seven years.

He was awarded the Norman W. Jolly Medal in 2015 at the 8th Joint Conference of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and the New Zealand Institute of Forestry.

The medal is the IFA’s (now Forestry Australia) highest and most prestigious honour awarded for outstanding service to the profession of forestry.

“Hans will be missed and he is thanked by the Responsible Wood staff, his fellow board members, Australian and New Zealand certificate holders, as well as industry partners and stakeholders,” CEO Simon Dorries said.

“The incoming chair Dr Tony Bartlett has impressive accomplishments and a similarly distinguished career, having worked in Australian and international forestry for 45 years,” Mr Dorries said.

“Tony has been a champion of forestry innovation and research and has overseen many impactful forestry research projects around the world.”

Current directors: Mark Thomson (Qld), Hans Drielsma (Tas), Kathryn Fowden (Qld), Michael O’Connor (Vic), Mark Gauthier (Vic), Stuart West (WA), Dr Tony Bartlett (ACT),  David Little (NSW), Kerrie Catchpoole (Qld).

  • Responsible Wood is the national governing body for PEFC in Australia and manages the PEFC New Zealand scheme on behalf of the New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA).

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