Forestry industry ‘a positive, not a problem’

The QS ranking shows the quality of the researchers and the teaching at the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Governments at all levels across Australia should see the forestry industry as a positive rather than a problem, according to Dr Judith Ajani.

As a Senior Fellow at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society and HC Coombs Policy Forum, Ajani has been at the forefront of the sector's political and industrial problems for more than 25 years.

"Over the years, the challenges for the forestry industry have become more simplified," she said.

"The industry is now close to being a fully plantation and recycled paper-based sector because of the investment and work in the manufacturing and industrial processes.

"It's been hugely satisfying seeing these changes. It's a pity politicians see forestry as a problem."

Ajani has led the HC Coombs Policy Forum's Policy Research Program called Innovation in National Accounts, which aims to connect public servants, researchers and statisticians to develop national accounting frameworks for the forestry industry. The first stage of the program was focussed on carbon stock accounting.

She has recently made a huge career shift, leaving forestry for art. Ajani is now an Adjunct Fellow at the Fenner School as she undertakes an undergraduate degree at the ANU School of Art.

"I'm just trying to hold a paintbrush," she said with a laugh.

"It's a big change but I'm at an age where if I don't do it now, I'm never going to do it."

The rise of the forestry subjects up the QS subject rankings to seventh spot is largely down to one person, according to Ajani.

"Professor David Lindenmayer has operated strategically and very effectively," she said.

"He has taken important topics of public debate and furthered the research into them. He's also targeted the top-ranking journals and it has proved successful.

"The QS ranking shows the quality of the researchers and the teaching at the Fenner School of Environment and Society."

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