Innovations in Forest Products and Services

Plenary session, June 13 | 8:30 am

Plenary speaker: Catherine Cobden

Catherine Cobden

Catherine Cobden

Catherine Cobden is the Founder and President of Cobden Strategies Inc. – a consulting firm that offers strategic support to clients in the areas of sustainability leadership, innovation, federal policy and regulatory issues.  Her clients include private sector companies and public sector organizations from the forest, mining, construction, academic and bioenergy sectors.

Prior to her current role, Catherine spent 13 years at the Forest Products Association of Canada, where as Executive Vice President of FPAC, she played a key role in developing the Canadian Forest Sector Transformation Strategy, shepherded the landmark Bio-pathways study on bio-technologies and led the launch of the industry’s Vision 2020 charting a dynamic direction for the sector.  She has been a strong champion for innovation in the forest sector collaborating on the development of the sector’s Innovation Framework, aligning efforts of key innovation players and supporting the development of new innovation delivery models.

Over her 20 years in Ottawa, Catherine has been a vocal advocate for taking action to address complicated environmental challenges while supporting economic growth and has a long record of environmental leadership on key files such as climate change, water and air quality.

Before joining FPAC, Catherine was a lobbyist with Fleishman Hilliard, where she represented the interests of natural resources sector on Parliament Hill. She also held several corporate sustainability positions within forest products companies.

Catherine is an Independent Director on the Boards of FPInnovations and the Canadian Climate Forum and a founding member of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative.

Catherine is a chemical engineer from the University of Toronto.

Plenary speaker: Dr. Daizy Batish

Professor of Botany at Panjab University and Deputy Coordinator of IUFRO Division 8.02.04 (Ecology of Alien Invasives)

Essential Oils from Forest Trees as Source of Natural Herbicides: Opportunities, Prospects and Challenges

My talk will include an introduction about the essential oils, their characteristics, chemical nature and ecological roles under natural ecosystems. The main focus of the talk would be their phytotoxicity towards certain plant species that forms the basis for their use as natural herbicides. Their utility lies in the fact that these are environment-friendly, biodegradable, possess little or no toxicity and exhibit great structural diversity. They are especially useful for managing weeds under organic farming. My talk would also focus on other issues like prospects for commercialization and marketing and various constraints related to their use.

Daizy Rani Batish

Daizy Rani Batish

Daizy R. Batish, PhD, Professor of Botany at Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, is Deputy Coordinator IUFRO Division 8.02.04. She has also served as Visiting Professor at School of Environment & Resource Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand for teaching the course of Biodiversity and Conservation in 2012.

Her teaching includes Ecosystem Ecology and Forestry, Biostatistics and basic botany subjects. She has guided 26 students for PhD degree.

Her research interests include ecological interactions in forests, forestry products such as essential oils and their role in weed and pest management. Her findings hold immense potential for the weed control in organic farming. Besides herbicidal properties, she has also explored the role of essential oils for other benign properties like their protective roles as natural antioxidants or radical scavengers. She has published 111 peer reviewed research papers with more than 3250 citations and has 34 h-index (as per SCOPUS). She has co-edited 7 books. In 2010, her scientific article based on essential oil from Eucalyptus species was honored by Elsevier group for figuring in Top-50 most cited articles published in Forest Ecology and Management. She has also completed four Government sponsored research projects investigating biological activities of essential oils.