Focusing on forestry’s role in greening the economy

Biomass collection system on show at the last Focus on Forestry field day in Mpumalanga.

‘The value of forestry in a greening economy’ is the theme of the Focus on Forestry Conference & Expo taking place at the Karkloof Country Club in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands from 7-9 November 2023.

The conference is organised by CMO, Nelson Mandela University and Forestry South Africa. It covers the full forestry value chain and is designed to inform forest landowners, managers and contractors, although tremendous benefit will be obtained by academics, researchers, consultants, training providers, governmental organisations and others participating in the sector.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Ole Sand, the Managing Partner of Criterion African Partners. He is a Norwegian national, residing in the US. The theme will explore the issues and opportunities surrounding the greening economy and the role that forestry plays.

With over 35 years of private equity investment experience, Dr Sand leads an investment team exclusively focused on the forestry sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The team invests in companies that provide economic development/impact, and climate change solutions through forestry and related technologies.

The Focus on Forestry conference covers the entire forestry value chain including nurseries, fire management, silviculture, forest engineering, wood biomass, carbon, risk management and certification. It is relevant to small-scale growers, medium-scale commercial growers through to large-scale industrial plantations, as well as sustainably managed natural forests and related ecosystems.

Day one focuses on general forest management, nurseries, silviculture, fire and other risk management and certification. Day two focuses on forest engineering, carbon and biomass harvesting.

The panel of international presenters will provide practical and useful information for management decision making and operational improvements.

A comprehensive exhibit area will be located immediately outside the conference venue, allowing delegates to interact with forestry equipment and services suppliers in between conference sessions. Networking is also a critical component of the conference, and a braai (barbeque) will take place each evening after the conference for catching up with old friends, making new business contacts, or discussing business.

The Focus on Forestry Field Day will take place on a Sappi plantation close to the conference venue. It will include static exhibits and live demonstrations, covering the full value chain. Conference attendance gives free entrance to the field day. Attendees will have the freedom to wander the field site at their leisure.

For more info, email:


Sawmilling SA AGM
7th June 2023
Engineering 4.0 Auditorium, University of Pretoria
Keynote speaker: Michael Peter, FSA

WoodEx for Africa
27-29 June 2023
Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg
The gateway to Africa’s timber trade

Focus on Forestry Conference & Expo
7-9 November 2023
Karkloof Country Club, KZN midlands
SA’s premier forestry conference and expo

Fire Management Symposium – Working on Fire
8-10 November 2023
Skukuza Conference Centre, Kruger National Park
Co-ordinating efforts for effective wildland fire management
Part of 20 Year Anniversary Celebration of the WoF programme.

Focus on Forestry is back!

This ‘big daddy’ wheeled harvester from Tigercat attracted a lot of attention at the 2019 Focus field day held at White River, Mpumalanga.

The good news for forestry stakeholders is that the Focus on Forestry Conference and Expo is back after a four-year hiatus.

It will be held over three days from 7-9 November 2023 at the Karkloof Country Club in the KZN midlands. Save the date and dust off your boots, the organisers have promised an action-packed programme of presentations, an exhibition and a field day at a nearby Sappi plantation.

Focus on Forestry 2023 is organised by CMO, Nelson Mandela University and Forestry South Africa. It has been the premier get-together for forestry stakeholders in Southern Africa for a number of years. The last event was held at White River in Mpumalanga back in April 2019. Then COVID-19 came out of nowhere, shutting down public events, disrupting business and impacting almost every aspect of our lives.

Since then virtual events have become the norm, but they don’t quite hit the spot as the most valuable part of real live gatherings is the opportunity to exchange ideas face-to-face, network and socialise with forestry colleagues from near and far. 

Focus is targeted at a broad range of stakeholders including forest landowners and growers (large and small), managers and contractors, while also offering valuable insights to academics, researchers, consultants, training providers, governmental organisations and services and equipment suppliers into the industry.

Demonstrating a planting rig at the 2014 Focus event held near Piet Retief, Mpumalanga back in 2014.

The breakdown of the event is as follows:- 

 More detailed information will follow soon, including registration information for delegates, exhibitors and sponsors. Early bird registrations will be discounted, so watch this space!

 Enquiries can be directed to


This looks risky, but it’s not. Fogmaker about to demonstrate the power of its on-board fire suppression system at the 2019 Focus event at White River.
Foresters checking the log quality after a de-barking demo during the Focus field day at Hilton, KZN in 2017.
Michal Brink and Andrew McKuen of CMO, organisers of a number of Focus events over the past 10 years.