Professor Peter Kanowski

BSc Forestry Hons (ANU), D Phil (Oxon)

Peter Kanowski is Professor of Forestry in the Fenner School of Environment & Society. He is also Master of University House and Deputy Dean (HDR Supervision).

Peter's academic roles comprise academic and professional leadership; research and teaching focused on forest and environmental policy, and on sustainability; and policy learning and development, and community engagement, associated with forest-related issues. Peter works extensively in each of these arenas with colleagues and partners, representing a diversity of forest- and environment- sector interests, internationally, nationally, and locally. Much of his current research is in conjunction with ACIAR projects. In addition to graduate and undergraduate teaching at ANU, Peter also co-convenes a graduate course in International Forest Governance at the University of Freiburg.

Peter was a Schlich Medallist at the Australian National University, where he completed an Honours degree in forestry, and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he completed a doctorate in forest genetics. He worked in forest management and research in Australia for 3 years, and lectured at Oxford University's Forestry Institute for 7 years, before taking up the Chair of Forestry at ANU in 1995. Peter was Head of the ANU Department of Forestry 1996-2001, foundation Head of the School of Resources Environment & Society 2001-2008, and Deputy Director of the Fenner School of Environment & Society 2007-2008. He spent two years as a Deputy Director General at CIFOR, the Center for International Forestry Reseach, 2012-2014, on leave from the ANU.

Peter has worked actively with The Forests Dialogue since 2006, co-leading a number of its initiatives. He was a member of Australia's State of Environment 2011 Committee; the Council of Australian Governments' National Bushfire Inquiry 2003-4; the Board of the National Arboretum Canberra; and was Education Program Chair of the CRC for Forestry for the life of that CRC.

Peter received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Community Outreach 2011, was co-recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Supervision 2016, and received a Chancellor's Award for Service to the University in 2022. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Freiburg in 2019.

Research interests

Peter Kanowski's research addresses three principal themes:

  • forest and environmental governance. This research includes work on forest practices, First Nations Australians and forestry, market-based mechanisms such as forest certification and REDD+, and wood legality verification;
  • planted forest policy, including farm-scale tree growing within the context of the farm enterprise, and societal development and sustainability objectives. This work includes ACIAR-supported research in Lao PDR and Vietnam, with precursors in Australia and globally; and work with The Forest Dialogue's Tree Plantations in the Landscape initiative;
  • urban green infrastructure;
  • education in forestry, environment and society, and sustainability.

I also engage with a wider range of research topics, principally those pursued by the PhD and Masters scholars whom I supervise.

My publications list illustrates aspects of my work in each of these topic areas.


  • Cruzado Melendez, G & Kanowski, P 2022, 'Community forestry in Australia: Caring for Country, land, and the bush', in Janette Bulkan, John Palmer, Anne M. Larson, Mary Hobley (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Community Forestry, Routledge, London, pp. 120-138pp.
  • Susilawati, D & Kanowski, P 2022, 'Improving Indonesia's timber legality and sustainability verification system: Proposals based on case studies of natural forest-, corporate tree plantation- and smallholder-based value chains', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 137, pp. 384-395pp.
  • Susilawati, D & Kanowski, P 2021, 'Sustainability certification and legality verification in Indonesian natural forest-based wood products value chains', International Forestry Review, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 365-391.
  • Smith, H, Kanowski, P, Keenan, R et al. 2021, 'Lao Plantation Policy: Prospects for Change', Forests, vol. 12, no. 8.
  • Keenan, R, Kanowski, P, Baker, P et al. 2021, 'No evidence that timber harvesting increased the scale or severity of the 2019/20 bushfires in south-eastern Australia', Australian Forestry, vol. 84, no. 3.
  • Kanowski, P & Edwards, P 2021, 'Forests under the Southern Cross: The forest environmental frontier in Australia and New Zealand', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 50, pp. 2183-2198
  • Kanowski, P 2020, 'Multilateral forestry research and tertiary forestry education for development: reflections on progress since the 1970s', International Forestry Review, vol. 22, no. S1, pp. 113-128.
  • Sotirov, M, Pokorny, B, Kleinschmit, D et al. 2020, 'International forest governance and policy: Institutional architecture and pathways of influence in global sustainability', Sustainability, vol. 12, no. 17, pp. 1-25.
  • Susilawati, D & Kanowski, P 2020, 'Cleaner production in the Indonesian pulp and paper sector: Improving sustainability and legality compliance in the value chain', Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 248.
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2020, 'The role of agroforestry in swidden transitions: a case study in the context of customary land tenure in Central Lao PDR', Agroforestry Systems 94: 1929–1944.
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2020, 'Economic Returns to Households Participating in Different Models of Commercial Tree Plantations in Lao PDR', International Forestry Review, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 132-152.
  • Kanowski, P, Yao, D & Wyatt, S 2019, 'SDG 4: Quality Education and Forests - 'The Golden Thread'', in P Katila, C Pierce Colfer, W de Jong, G Galloway, P Pacheco & G Winkel (ed.), Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 108-145.
  • Tricallotis, M, Kanowski, P & Gunningham, N 2019, 'The drivers and evolution of competing forest certification schemes in the Chilean forestry industry', International Forestry Review, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 516-527.
  • Van Der Meer Simo, A, Kanowski, P & Barney, K 2019, 'Revealing environmental income in rural livelihoods: evidence from four villages in Lao PDR', Forests, Trees and Livelihoods, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 16-33.
  • Robins, L & Kanowski, P 2019, 'Megatrends affecting smallholder forestry in Indonesia to the year 2030', International Forestry Review, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 350-371.
  • Susilawati, D, Kanowski, P, Setyowati, A et al 2019, 'Compliance of smallholder timber value chains in East Java with Indonesia's timber legality verification system', Forest Policy and Economics 102: 41-50.
  • Milne, S, Mahanty, S, To, X et al. 2019, 'Learning from 'actually existing' REDD+: A synthesis of ethnographic findings', Conservation and Society, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 84-95.
  • Tricallotis, M, Gunningham, N & Kanowski, P 2018, 'The impacts of forest certification for Chilean forestry businesses', Forestry Policy and Economics, vol. 92, pp. 82-91.
  • Jenkin, B, Minimulu, J & Kanowski, P 2018, 'Improving the smallholder balsa value chain in East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea', Australian Forestry, 82 (S1): 23-31.
  • Bartlett PhD, T, Kanowski, P, Van Kerkhoff, L et al. 2017, 'Identifying factors that influence the success of forestry research projects implemented in developing countries: case study results from Vietnam', Forestry, vol. 90, no. 3, pp. 413-425.
  • Seymour, F & Kanowski, P 2017, 'Forests and Biodiversity', in Hirsch, P. (ed.), Routledge Handbook on the Environment in Southeast Asia, Routledge, UK, pp. 159-179pp.
  • Kanowski, P 2017, 'Australia's forests: Contested past, tenure-driven present, uncertain future', Forestry Policy and Economics, 77: 56-68.
  • Beh, J, Kanowski, P, Greene, R and Brack, C 2016, 'Predicting soil depth using simple ground-based measurements of stem shape and taper in the butt swell section of individual Pinus radiata trees', Australian Forestry, vol. 79, no. 2, pp. 114-121.
  • Kanowski, P 2015, 'Internationalizing Forestry Education', Journal of Forestry, vol. 113, no. 6, pp. 574-578.
  • Ward, T, Cork, S, Dobbs, K et al. 2015, 'Framing an independent, integrated and evidence-based evaluation of the state of Australia's biophysical and human environments', Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 738-755.
  • Bush, D, Kain, D, Kanowski, P et al. 2015, 'Genetic parameter estimates informed by a marker-based pedigree: A case study with Eucalyptus cladocalyx in southern Australia', Tree Genetics and Genomes, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-16.
  • Petrokofsky, G, Kanowski, P, Brown, N, & McDermott, C. 2015, 'Biodiversity and the forestry sector', in Gasparatos, A., Willis, K.J. (ed.), Biodiversity in the Green Economy, Routledge, UK, pp. 32-60.
  • Sabastian, G, Kanowski, P, Race, D et al 2014, 'Household and farm attributes affecting adoption of smallholder timber management practices by tree growers in Gunungkidul region, Indonesia', Agroforestry Systems, vol. 88, no. 2, pp. 257-268.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2014, 'Social impacts of forest policy changes in Western Australia on members of the natural forest industry: Implications for policy goals and decision-making processes', Forestry, vol. 87, no. 3, pp. 363-376.
  • Ward, T, Cork, S, Dobbs, K, Harper, P, Harris, P, Hatton, T, Joy, R, Kanowski, P, Mackay, R, McKenzie, N and Wienecke, B. 2014. Framing an independent, integrated and evidence-based evaluation of the state of Australia’s biophysical and human environments. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2014.891073
  • Wilkinson, G.R., Schofield, M. & Kanowski, P., 2014. Regulating forestry — experience with compliance and enforcement over the 25 years of Tasmania's forest practices system. Forest Policy and Economics, 40: 1–11.
  • Boulay, A, Tacconi, L & Kanowski, P 2013, 'Financial Performance of Contract Tree Farming for Smallholders: The Case of Contract Eucalypt Tree Farming in Thailand', Small-scale Forestry, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 165-180.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2013, 'Designing, implementing and monitoring social impact mitigation strategies: Lessons from Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Packages', Environmental Impact Assessment Review, vol. 42, pp. 105-115.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2013, 'Exploring the social dimensions and complexity of cumulative impacts: a case study of forest policy changes in Western Australia', Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal. 31: 52-63.
  • Boulay, A, Tacconi, L & Kanowski, P 2012, 'Drivers of adoption of eucalypt tree farming by smallholders in Thailand', Agroforestry Systems, vol. 84, no. 2, pp. 179-189.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2012, 'Employment of Indigenous Australians in the forestry sector: a case study from northern Queensland', Australian Forestry, vol. 75, no. 2, pp. 73-81.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2012, 'Social impacts of the Regional Forest Agreement on members of the forest industry in north-eastern New South Wales', Australian Forestry, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. 251-263.
  • Loxton, E, Schirmer, J, Kanowski, P et al. 2012, 'Cumulative social impacts in northern NSW: forest policy 1980-2010', National Conference on Australian Forest History 2010, ed. Brett J. Stubbs, Jane Lennon, Alison Specht and John Taylor, Australian Forest History Society Inc, Australia, pp. 83-93.
  • Kanowski, P 2011, The Forests Dialogue Genetically-Modified Trees: Opportunities For Dialogue.
  • Kanowski, P. 2012. The tragedy of Tasmania's forests: one act on from Flanagan. Island 127: 26-33.

  • Hatton, T, Cork, S, Harper, P, Joy, R, Kanowski, P, Mackay, R, McKenzie, N, Ward, T and Wienecke, B. 2011. Australia State of the Environment 2011. DSEWCPaC, Canberra. 932p.
  • Fleming, R, Kanowski, P, Brown, N et al 2011, 'Emerging perspectives on forest biodiversity', in Tessa Goverse and Susanne Bech (ed.), UNEP Year Book: Emerging Issues in our Global Environment 2011, UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment, Nairobi Kenya, pp. 46-59.
  • Kanowski, P, McDermott, C & Cashore, B 2011, 'Post-Copenhagen strategies for the implementation of REDD+', in Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen, Diana Liverman, et al (ed.), Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions, Cambridge University Press, New York USA, pp. 429-430pp.
  • Kanowski, P 2011, Black and White and REDD all over: a plan to save the world's forests, pp. Online.
  • Kanowski, P, McDermott, C & Cashore, B 2011, 'Implementing REDD+: lessons from analysis of forest governance', Environmental Science and Policy, 14, 111-117
  • Kanowski, P. 2011. Genetically-modified trees: opportunities for dialogue. Scoping Paper, The Forests Dialogue, Yale University. 13 p.
  • Robins, L & Kanowski, P 2011, 'Crying for our Country': Eight ways in which 'Caring for our Country' has undermined Australia's regional model for natural resource management', Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 88-108.
  • Baskorowati, L, Moncur, M, Cunningham, S et al 2010, 'Reproductive biology of Melaleuca alternifolia (Myrtaceae) 2. Incompatibility and pollen transfer in relation to the breeding system', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 384-391.
  • Baskorowati, L, Moncur, M, Doran, J et al 2010, 'Reproductive biology of Melaleuca alternifolia (Myrtaceae) 1. Floral biology', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 58, no. 5, pp. 373-383.
  • Bauhus, J, Pokorny, B, van der Meer, P et al 2010, 'Ecosystem goods and services - the key to sustainable plantations', in Jurgen Bauhus, Peter J. van der Meer, Markku Kanninen (ed.), Ecosystem Goods and Services from Plantation Forests, Earthscan Publications Ltd, London, pp. 205-227.
  • Bush, D, Kain, D, Matheson, C, and Kanowski, P. 2010. Marker-based adjustment of the additive relationship matrix for estimation of genetic parameters - an example using Eucalyptus cladocalyx. Tree Genetics & Genomes. DOI 10.1007/s11295-010-0312-z
  • Bush, D, Kain, D, Matheson, A et al. 2011, 'Marker-based adjustment of the additive relationship matrix for estimation of genetic parameters-an example using Eucalyptus cladocalyx', Tree Genetics and Genomes, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 23-35.
  • Kanowski, P 2010, 'Policies to enhance the provision of ecosystem goods and services from plantation forests', in Jurgen Bauhus, Peter J. van der Meer, Markku Kanninen (ed.), Ecosystem Goods and Services from Plantation Forests, Earthscan Publications Ltd, London, pp. 171-204.
  • McDermott, C, Cashore, B & Kanowski, P 2010, Global Environmental Forest Policies, Earthscan Publications Ltd, London UK.
  • Pratley, J, Kanowski, P & Bull, L 2010, 'Education and training challenges for the Australian forestry sector: an analysis based on recent trends in university and vocational education and training (VET) completions', Australian Forestry, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 227-233.
  • Sherren, K, Robin, Libby, Kanowski, P, and Dovers, S. 2010, 'Escaping the disciplinary straitjacket: Curriculum design as university adaptation to sustainability', Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 260-278.
  • Feary, S, Kanowski, P, Altman, J et al 2010, 'Managing forest country: Aboriginal Australians and the forest sector', Australian Forestry, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 126-134.
  • Pratley, J, Kanowski, P & Bull, L. 2010. Education and training challenges for the Australian forestry sector: an analysis based on recent trends in university and VET completions. Australian Forestry 73: 227-233.
  • Alhamid, H, Ballard, C & Kanowski, P 2009, 'Forests for the People?: Special autonomy, community forestry cooperatives and the apparent return of customary rights in Papua', in Carol Warren & John F McCarthy (ed.), Community, Environment and Local governance in Indonesia: Locating the Commonweal, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, Abingdon and New York, pp. 145-165.
  • Alhamid, H, Kanowski, P & Ballard, C 2009, 'Forest Management and Conflict: the Case of the Rendani Protection Forest in Papua', in Budy R Resosudarmo and Frank Jotzo (ed.), Working with Nature against Poverty: Development, Resources and the Environment in Eastern Indonesia, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, pp. 226-247.
  • Bull, L & Kanowski, P 2009, 'The National Forestry Masters Program: a new era of collaboration in professional forestry education', Institute of Foresters of Australia Conference (IFA 2009), ed. Conference Program Committee, Institute of Foresters of Australia, Caloundra, pp. 1-11.
  • Kanowski, P & Williams, K 2009, 'The reality of imagination: Integrating the material and cultural values of old forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 258, pp. 341-346.
  • McDermott, C, Cashore, B & Kanowski, P 2009, 'Setting the bar: an international comparison of public and private forest policy specifications and implications for explaining policy trends', Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 217-237.
  • Robins, L & Kanowski, P 2008, 'PhD by Publication: A Student's Perspective', Journal of Research Practice, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-20.
  • Kanowski, P 2006, 'Communities and Participatory Forest Management', Forests, Wood and Livelihoods: Finding a future for all, ed. A G Brown, Conference Organising Committee, Parkville, Victoria, pp. 63-66.
  • Burley, J & Kanowski, P 2005, 'Breeding strategies for temperate hardwoods', Forestry, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 199-208.
  • Kanowski, P, Whelan, R & Ellis, S 2005, 'Inquiries following the 2002-2003 Austrlain bushfires: common themes and future directions for Australian bushfire mitigation and management.', Australian Forestry, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 76-86.
  • Kanowski, P 2005, 'Intensively Managed Planted Forests', Scoping Dialogue on Intensively Managed Planted Forests, Forests Dialogue, New Haven, CT, p. 8.
  • Kanowski, P 2005, 'Rewriting the textbooks', in John Keeney (ed.), In the Living Forest, ETN Communications, Artarmon, Australia, pp. 56-57.
  • Kanowski, P, Holzknecht, H, Perley, C et al 2005, 'Oceania - Islands of Contrast', in Gerardo Mery, Rene Alfaro, Markku Kanninen, Maxim Lobovikov (ed.), Forests in the Global Balance - Changing Paradigms, International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Helsinki, pp. 281-314.
  • Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2005, 'A Mixed Economy Commonwealth of States: Australia.', in Mike Garforth and James Mayers (ed.), Plantations, Privatization, Poverty and Power: Changing Ownership and Management of State Forests, Earthscan Publications Ltd, UK, pp. 101-125.
  • Kanowski, P & Borralho, N 2004, 'Economic Returns from Tree Breeding', in Jeffery Burley (ed.), Encyclopedia of Forest Sciences, Elsevier, Oxford UK, pp. 1561-1568pp.
  • Kanowski, P 2004, 'Forest research and education in Australia in 2004', Forest Research and Education for the 21st Century, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, pp. 165-185.
  • Gerrand, A, Keenan, R, Kanowski, P, Stanton, R. 2003, 'Australian forest plantations: an overview of industry, environmental and community issues and benefits.', Australian Forestry, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 1-8.
  • Bhati, U, Kanowski, P & Ragg, W 2002, 'ANU Forestry Market Report Project: Looking to the Future', Australian Forest Growers National Conference 2002, ed. David Wettenhall, Australian Forest Growers, Canberra, pp. 1-10.
  • Gwaze, D, Wolliams, J, Kanowski, P et al 2001, 'Interactions of genotype with site for height and stem straightness in Pinus taeda in Zimbabwe.', Silvae Genetica, vol. 50, no. 3-4, pp. 135-140.
  • Kanowski, P 2001, 'Forest policy in an era of environmental consciousness', Australasian Natural Resources Law and Policy Conference 2001, Country Conferences P/L, Armidale, pp. 4-15.
  • Kanowski, P & Buchy, M 2001, 'Advances in research and development - social sciences: Context, critique and evaluation', Intensive Management of Regrowth Forest for Wood Production in Australia - A review of current practice and future potential, ed. M J Connell, R J Raison, A G Brown, CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, Canberra, ACT, pp. 78-84.
  • Kanowski, P, Cork, S, Lamb, D et al 2001, 'Assessing the Success of Off-reserve Forest Management in Contributing to Biodiversity Conservation', in R J Raison, A G Brown, D W Flinn (ed.), Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management, CABI Publishing, Oxon UK, pp. 379-390.
  • Kanowski, P 2001, 'Plantation Forestry at the Millenium', in George M Woodwell (ed.), Forests in a Full World, Yale University Press, USA, pp. 97-109.
  • Kanowski, P 2001, 'Trees: Still challenging breeders at the millennium', in E. C. Reeve (ed.), Encyclopedia of Genetics, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago, IL, pp. 688-691pp.
  • Kanowski, P 2001, 'Forestry education in a changing landscape', International Forestry Review, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 175-183.
  • Kanowski, P 2001, 'In situ Forest Conservation: a Broader Vision for the 21st Century', In situ and Ex situ Conservation of Commercial Tropical Trees, ed. Bart A Thielges, Setijati D. Sastrapradja, Anto Rimbawanto, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), Yogyakarta, Indonesia, pp. 11-36.
  • Schirmer, J & Kanowski, P 2001, 'Avoiding snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: plantation forestry expansion in Australia', Joint Commonwealth Forestry Conference and Biennial Conference of the Institute of Foresters of Australia 2001, Promaco Conventions Pty Ltd, Fremantle, WA, pp. 99-108.
  • Schirmer, J, Kanowski, P & Race, D 2000, 'Factors affecting adoption of plantation forestry on farms: implications for farm forestry development in Australia', Australian Forestry, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 44-51.
  • Kanowski, P, Sinclair, D & Freeman, B 2000, 'Issues in Certification', Tropical Forest Update, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 2-6.
  • Dargavel, J, Proctor, W & Kanowski, P 2000, 'Conflict and Agreement in Australian Forests', in L., Tacconi (ed.), Biodiversity and Ecological Economics: Participation, Values, and Resource Management, Earthscan Publications Ltd, UK, pp. 101- 115.
  • Kanowski, P, Sinclair, D, Freeman, B and Bass, S. 2000, 'Critical elements for the assessment of forest managements certification schemes. Establishing comparibility and equivalence amongst schemes'. DAFF, Canberra. 46 p.
  • Kanowski, P 2000, 'Politics, Policies and the Conservation of Forest Genetic Diversity', in Young, A.; Boshier, D.; Boyle, T. (ed.), Forest Conservation Genetics. Principles and Practice, CSLI Publications, Melbourne, pp. 275-287.