Dr Hilary Smith

Honorary Senior Lecturer

Hilary is a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Fenner School of Environment & Society where she collaborates with other researchers, primarily on ACIAR projects in Asia and the Pacific. She also co-supervises Masters and PhD scholars.

Hilary undertakes research in forest policy, legal and governance issues with a current focus on forest plantations, agroforesty and wildlife in Lao PDR and Fiji. Much of her recent work has been on international forest and timber legality and policy issues through systematic legal analysis resulting in the development of legal compendia to the Forestry and Wildlife Laws in Laos. Hilary has also been involved in several international development projects researching and assessing value chains in these sectors and countries.

After working in public sector forestry organisations in NSW and Queensland for 15 years Hilary worked on number of forest carbon projects in Australia and overseas and was involved in researching and writing greenhouse gas abatement methodologies for plantation forestry, savanna burning, improved forest management and REDD. She has supported several indigenous groups in Northern Australia to design and implement successful savanna burning project under the Emissions Reduction Fund. She served as a member of the Australian Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee from 2017 to 2020.

Hilary was awarded the Graham Lawton Prize for Geography Honours at Adelaide University and an Australian Vice Chancellor's Award for Research in Asia for her PhD in West Kalimantan, Indonesia (also through Adelaide University). In 2012 she completed a Masters in Law Governance and Development in the college of Law at ANU.

Research interests

Hilary's research interests include:

  • The legal geography of forests and forest resources in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Forest policy, governance, legal pluralism and development.
  • The legality of forest value chains including forest product and wildife trade and trafficking.
  • Maraseni, T, Phimmavong, S, Keenan, R et al. 2018, 'Financial returns for different actors in a teak timber value chain in Paklay District, Lao PDR', Land Use Policy, vol. 75, pp. 145-154.
  • Ling, S, Smith, H, Xaysavongsa, L et al. 2018, 'The Evolution of Certified Teak Grower Groups in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR: An Action Research Approach', Small-scale Forestry, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 343-360.
  • Smith, H, Ling, S & Boer, K 2017, 'Teak plantation smallholders in Lao PDR: what influences compliance with plantation regulations?', Australian Forestry, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 178-187pp.