Meeting the challenges facing our forests. Together.

Gippsland’s forests need our help. Fire, floods, storms, drought, pests, weeds, neglect, exploitation and the changing climate are taking a huge toll. But if we all work together, the future can be different.

The Gippsland Forest Dialogue is a new initiative founded by a group of passionate Gippslanders from all walks of life who have come together to talk about how best to look after our forests and explore possible futures for forests in the Gippsland region.

We believe that biodiversity, forestry, water, recreation, tourism, production and bushfire risk management are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent parts of our forests. Our mission is to work together to explore these difficult forest and land use issues and find collaborative solutions and positive change.

The Forests Dialogue International

The Gippsland Forest Dialogue is based on and supported by The Forests Dialogue (TFD), an international organisation founded in 2000. TFD brings together and supports groups of forest stakeholders to learn from each other, trust each other and implement collaborative and adaptive solutions to sustainable forest management and forest conservation.

Over the past 20 years, TFD has held more than 90 dialogues on contentious issues in forest management across the globe. Each dialogue is a mix of field visits, presentations and facilitated discussions to break deadlocks and create meaningful change by determining outputs and outcomes. Over 20 major initiatives have been launched as a result.

We’re proud to be the first Australian region to start a Forest Dialogue.

Why we're part of the Gippsland Forest Dialogue

Meeting the challenges facing our forests. Together.

"In Gippsland, we have not been good stewards of, or for, our forests - or the species that depend on them. I feel we have failed our forests. Arguments around how forests should be ‘managed’, ‘used’ or ‘protected’ have been polarised and unhelpful for decades. We need a new way forward, one which places the forests at the centre of the discussion and considers them as interconnected living systems, with histories and futures. If the Gippsland Forest Dialogue approach can facilitate a better way for us to be in relationship with our forests, I want to be a part of that!”

Wendy Wright

Professor of Conservation Biology, Federation University

"As a Gippsland architect and small farmer, I believe that our work with forests and wood can profoundly exacerbate or ameliorate the overwhelming climate and biodiversity crisis before us, depending on how it’s done. As such, I'm deeply committed to understanding the ecological and industrial dynamics underlying this and to encourage my peers in construction to align their timber product selections to forest management and timber processing that secure the best outcome for Gippsland’s forests and communities in the time ahead."

Paul Haar

Architect at Haarchitecture

"I have spent many years researching, walking and living amongst Gippsland’s forests, and from the dry eucalypts to the wet rainforests, I think they are some of the most unique and inspiring forests on the planet. But Gippsland’s forests are more than just groups of trees – they’re an intrinsic part of the Gippsland community and all of the challenges facing our forests (from climate change to fire to windstorms to weeds) can only be faced if the community comes together to care for them. The Gippsland Forest Dialogue represents that opportunity."

Tom Fairman

Future Fire Risk Analyst, University of Melbourne

We love our forests!