The Southern African Institute of Forestry (SAIF) celebrated its 50th Birthday at a special dinner function at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens on 16 May. SAIF is an association of forestry practitioners geared towards delivering a professional service to forestry in South Africa. The dinner was attended by two of the original founding members of the Institute and a number of other SAIF members working in forestry and forest research from across the country. Also in attendance were some overseas guests who were in  South Africa to attend the 29th Annual Meeting of Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) at FABI.

The dinner celebration included the annual SAIF prize ceremony. FABI’s founding Director, Prof Mike Wingfield, was awarded the “Distinguished Forestry Award of the South African Institute of Forestry” for his outstanding contributions to forestry in South Africa. This is the highest award given by the Institute.

FABI’s new Director, Prof Bernard Slippers, was awarded the “Continuous Service Excellence Award to the Forestry Industry” for his excellent work and efforts to continuously improve the industry. In this regard, FABI was recognised for its contributions to pest and disease research, a valuable resource for forestry in South Africa. Darryl Herron, a PhD candidate in FABI, was awarded the “Merit Award” for promoting the forestry profession in South Africa and its visibility and interests to a wider and important target audience.  He is also the SAIF’s social media champion.

FABI was very proud to receive three awards from the SAIF and each of the recipients had an opportunity to make a few remarks.  They all thanked SAIF and importantly, recognised the very important role that the Institute plays in South African Forestry.

(Photos courtesy of the SAIF)