John Wyatt-Smith CBE
John Wyatt-Smith was one of the most distinguished, dedicated and influential foresters of his generation. His professional career, of more than 60 years, coincided with a period of unprecedented challenge, to both the concept and practice of sustainable management of tropical forests, and to Britain’s role in the world, in the wake of World War II, and the ending of the age of colonial administration. John’s international reputation was initially established on his ecological and silvicultural research in Malaya, and on its translation into a practical management system for tropical lowland forest, but his contribution to both the theory and practice of tropical forestry extended to broader fields, of land use and rural livelihood systems.
Latterly, during his service as the most senior forestry adviser to Britain’s overseas aid programme, he contributed substantially to the development of the knowledge and capability for sustainable forest management in a wide range of countries. Throughout his career his strength in botany and silviculture, clarity of thought, sound judgement and integrity were shown to great effect in the search for means to link the use of forest resources for economic development with the conservation of environmental values.
Read his full obituary in the International Forestry Review, 2003.