The United Nations International Day of Forests on 21 March will be marked by Forestry South Africa with the launch of an information and illustration-rich website focusing on pesticide-related matters. The website is aimed at foresters, technical staff, students, small- and medium-scale farmers
The website has been put together by the Timber Industry Pesticide Working Group (TIPWG) comprising representatives from the forestry sector, pesticide manufacturers, government and conservation groups. TIPWG – pronounced tip-wig – promotes the responsible and effective use of pesticides in South African commercial timber plantations through industry collaboration and the provision of technical support and guidelines on issues relating to, among many other things, compliance.
The new portal – www.tipwg.co.za – offers those in the forestry sector a technical one-stop shop for all things related to pesticides. The resource also offers in-depth but easy-to-read content supported by eye-catching infographics and additional links for those seeking more information.
The website covers the basics of pesticides and sustainable, responsible pesticide use as well as providing the approved pesticide lists for commercial plantations, nurseries and conservation areas along with standard operating procedures for their handling and application.
Why does forestry need to use pesticides?
Tree pests and diseases pose the biggest threat to timber plantation productivity. Meyer explains, “Controlling pests and diseases in over a million hectares of plantations is no small task, and every year in South Africa, the industry invests a considerable amount on pest and disease control.” Compared to other sectors, forestry uses a small fraction of the chemicals per hectare due to world-leading biological-control programmes that combat most pests and diseases.
Bacteria, fungi, insects, parasites, weeds and animals can all become pests, if their influence disrupts the timber plantation’s productivity or its commercial viability.
“By managing our commercial forests sustainably, we can make a positive impact on those living in, around or near plantations; making them greener, healthier and happier places to live,” says Jacqui Meyer, TIPWG secretariat and independent forestry consultant.
The 2018 theme for International Day of Forests is ‘Forests and Sustainable Cities’ which focuses on making our cities greener, healthier and happier places to live.
For more information, please visit www.tipwg.co.za.
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In 2017, Forestry South Africa launched www.forestryexplained.co.za which covers the basics of forestry and forest products, and everything from water-use to recreation, pest control, ownership and end-uses. Follow @forestry_explained on Instagram.
Source: Forestry South Africa