Everything! IPM might not have been a “founding philosophy” for forestry when the sector came into being in South Africa over a century ago, but it now underlies almost everything we do.
While IPM comes as second nature to many of us, for those on the outside there is often a misconstrued belief that our approach to pest management is simply the liberal, unplanned and unregulated application of unnecessary amounts of chemical pesticides. This could not be further from the truth, with the sector being one of the most highly regulated and monitored.
To address this, the new TIPWG IPM page showcases how the industry uses the IPM framework to inform decision-making. To do this, the page introduces the concept of IPM in a forestry context, using infographics to guide the reader through the decision-making process and clarifying how IPM underlies every pest control decision made.
Finally, case study posters help contextualise how IPM has been put into practice. These showcase a range of pest control scenarios where alternatives to chemical control have been implemented. These provide clear working examples of pest control strategies employed that contradict the notion that the forestry sector is solely reliant on chemicals to address pest-related problems.
We hope to add to this by illustrating other active examples of pest control methods, such as tree breeding.
Getting the message out there
Isn’t it time we started dispelling some of the myths? Social media has enabled the voices of the uninformed to snowball. Without proactive communication of the forestry story, we run the risk of these snowballs creating an avalanche. The influence public perception wields should never be underestimated; it can be used to sway regulatory standpoints and certification requirements.
At TIPWG, we believe dispelling the myths starts with promoting the steps and measures we put in place to minimise forestry’s environmental and social impact, ultimately ensuring its footprint is as light as possible.
How you can help?
- Use our resources – TIPWG case studies, infographics and posters are at your disposal, use them where you can and circulate them with our blessing.
- Increase awareness – Forestry South Africa have upped the ante when it comes to raising awareness, with the Forestry Explained website giving a great overview of forestry in general and the TIPWG website providing all you need to know about pesticide use. Point people in our direction when they have pesticide-related questions and we will do the rest.
- Spread the word – If you find the TIPWG website useful, please consider adding our TIPWG footer to your email signature. Just click here to download!