Stephen Midgely ‘Global uses of Australian acacias – recent trends and future prospects'
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Stephen Midgley is a forester and development specialist who runs his own consulting business, Salwood Asia Pacific Pty Ltd. He is an Asia-specialist, and has worked continuously in Asia for over 37 years with long-term assignments in Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka and China and via many short-term projects.
Stephen had a long career with CSIRO where he was leader of a major team specialising in the domestication and utilisation of Australia’s trees, mainly eucalypts and acacias. Over many years he led detailed seed collection programs of acacias through Australia’s arid zones and in the moist tropics of Indonesia, PNG and northern Australia. Stephen also has an acacia, Acacia midgleyi, named after him—a tree to 25 metres which occurs naturally in Cape York.
In recent years there has been wide scale planting of Australian acacias for commercial purposes in Asia and elsewhere. The talk will describe current uses, the scale of these plantings and the social and economic benefits being obtained from them. It will also consider future trends in the use of acacias and potential problems.