Maxwell Jacobs Oration: Has Forestry responded adequately to social, demographic and economic trends?
Dr Neil Byron
Neil is a forester and economist who has provided independent, highly-credible and practical policy advice to all levels of government – particularly on natural resources such as water, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and biodiversity, including 12 years as Commonwealth Productivity Commissioner and 2 years with Natural Resources Commission of NSW. Earlier positions were as Assistant Director General and head of policy research at the Centre for International Forest Research based in Indonesia for 5 years, leading a UN-funded Project in the Planning Commission of Bangladesh for 3 years, 6 years in a support role with the Nepal Australia Community Forestry Project, head of forest economics research at the Bureau of Agricultural Economics for 3 years and, perhaps his best known role, lecturing in Forest Economics at the ANU Forestry School between 1977 and 1993 whenever he wasn’t somewhere else.
In the past 20 years he’s had numerous part-time assignments involving policy formulation and/or evaluation of the social and economic dimensions of natural resource management, in Australia and overseas. In all these contexts he has been a leader in collection of relevant data to enable rigorous analysis of options, with a focus on devising efficient and equitable longer-term strategies and scenarios.
Neil has extensive experience in governance, and strategic and corporate planning that anticipates and identifies emerging trends, in both government and the private sector.
Neil was also a Director of the national Board of the Institute of Foresters (2015-17) and a private forest owner for 25 years.