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Responsible Wood Chairman recognized in the Australia Day Honours

Jan 29 2018

Hans Drielsma honours list 2018Dr. Hans Drielsma, a respected forester and Chairman of our Australian national member, Responsible Wood, has been awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.

Dr. Drielsma, who served on the PEFC International Board of Directors from 2006 to 2015, played a leading role in the development of the Australian Forest Certification Scheme and its endorsement by PEFC.

The award is ‘for significant service to the commercial forestry industry, to sustainable management practices and certification programs, and to professional bodies’.

Dr. Drielsma is a former director of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and a recipient, in 2015, of the institute’s highest award, the Norman W Jolly Medal.

Thoroughly deserved

“The award recognizes Hans’ support of sustainable forest management and his dedication to standards work over decades,” said Simon Dorries, CEO of Responsible Wood.

“He was instrumental in the establishment of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (now Responsible Wood) and his international efforts ensured the Australian standard was recognized by PEFC.”

Mr. Dorries said Dr. Drielsma’s Australia Day honour sent a wider message about the value of forestry and foresters and sustainable forest management; it also gave the Australian forest products industry the social license and credibility it needed to go forward.

Early interest in forestry

Growing up in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, bush walking and the Scout movement led Dr. Drielsma to an early interest in the effects of the forest industry on the environment and local communities.

Following postgraduate studies in natural resource sociology at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he worked for Forests NSW and Forestry Tasmania. During his time in Tasmania, he led the introduction of environmental certification into the organization.

Hans Drielsma said his father cultivated his interest in trees and forestry.

“He was always a man of the soil and trained in tropical agriculture in Holland before working for a short time in New Guinea as a forestry officer after the war,” said Dr. Drielsma.

“He spent some time in Indonesia working with coffee plantations and, in a small way, the forestry sector. Both my father and mother then migrated from Indonesia to Australia in 1950, settling in the Blue Mountains.”

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of September 2018)

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