The IUFRO WP 2.08.07 on Acacia Genetics and Silviculture was set up in 2014 to provide a forum for researchers and managers to share information on the problems and opportunities which are facing by tropical acacia plantation forestry in SE Asia. This meeting hosted by Forest Department of Sarawak (FDS) is the first opportunity the WP has had to meet in Malaysia

The Sarawak State Government has embarked on industrial forest plantation (IFP) since 1997 with the introduction of Planted Forest Rule (1997). To date, IFP covering 2.5 million hectares were issued as a step to reduce pressure on natural forest and to ensure sustainable supply of raw material to the timber industry. A target has been set for one million hectares of IFP, to be achieved by 2025. In order to achieve the target, the State Government urged the relevant agencies and licensees to intensify R&D to enhance production of high quality planting material, pest and diseases control, forest management, harvesting and the production of higher value added products in order to improve IFP performance. The IFP target has not yet been achieved, with only 435,000 ha of plantations established by 2018. R&D collaboration with international research organizations has been identified as an important contributing factor to strengthen plantation development. Tropical acacias comprise a large proportion of Sarawak’s forest plantations, so hosting of the IUFRO Acacia Conference is timely.

Non-native acacias have become dominant components of many Southeast Asian plantation landscapes. They are increasingly being threatened by insect pests and pathogens. Regional collaboration in Southeast Asia is urgently needed to lower the arrival and subsequent movement of invasive pests and pathogens and to better manage damage to trees by ‘new encounter’ or established pests.

The theme of the 3rd IUFRO Acacia Conference “Embracing Transformation for Sustainable Management of Industrial Forest Plantation” will address the application of technology and innovation in upstream and downstream R&D.

Researchers, plantation managers and policy makers from around the world are encouraged to participate. The conference will share knowledge, research findings and experience from different disciplines, discuss current issues on IFP management and ways forward, and strengthen collaboration among participants. The conference will include invited and contributed presentations, posters, exhibition and post-conference tours.