Women in forestry – Empowering women and forest sustainability

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Women in Forestry

Women in forestry were greatly disadvantaged in the past because of cultural, social, economic, and institutional reasons.  Some women were allowed limited access to forest work. Once gender inequality was recognized and addressed the tables started turning.  Due to the sheer persistence and determination of some women, companies and tertiary institutions started realizing the potential of women in the business environment.  Skilled women are becoming involved in important roles, making huge improvements in the forestry industry. Today we have some exceptional women serving in Governmental positions making huge and positive decisions regarding the future and sustainability of Forestry in South Africa.

Benefits of having women in the Forestry Sector

WomenNurturing and caring for children, with little resources or support structure has taught many women to be resilient, to think out of the box, to manage, and to survive under very difficult circumstances. These are all valuable qualities that if applied properly can make an industry successful, therefore, including women in important decision-making in forest sustainability can make a huge difference. Women are generally known to be reliable, diligent, and careful in their work. They excel in grading tasks because they remain focused for extended periods of repetitive work. They achieve higher rates of accuracy. Women tend to also be more careful with machinery and equipment. 

Benefits of empowering women in the forestry sector.

Here is a more extended list of how empowering women can be beneficial to both women and the forestry sector:

  • Employment opportunities will increase therefore increasing household income and decreasing the risk of poverty.
  • Women will be empowered to raise their voices and participate in policy-making processes to help improve forest sustainability.
  • Additional knowledge can be raised giving more opportunities for new ideas generating more solutions to p
  • Employment opportunities will increase therefore increasing household income and decreasing the risk of poverty.
  • Women will be empowered to raise their voices and participate in policy-making processes to help improve forest sustainability.
  • Additional knowledge can be raised giving more opportunities for new ideas generating more solutions to problems the forestry sector experience.
  • Conflicts such as competing against uses of forests, among others, can be avoided and more ideas can be shared. This will lead to the start of new unique projects.
  • By keeping people up to date with the newest technologies and techniques productivity can increase significantly. Examples are nursery techniques site selection, selection of species, land preparation, planting, weeding, and maintenance.
  • Awareness of the prevailing patterns of women in the use of forest resources, including their needs and constraints will increase.
  • People will realize the value of forests and sustainable forestry management.

Marina Daniel – Owner of Sabie poles – Thrives through her passion

Marina was a small-town businesswoman with a big-time dream. She created a company from nothing, but faith, hard work, to being the owner of a leading business in the industry. We not only focus on quality, long-lasting timber products but on long-term relationships too.

She was also nominated by women in forestry to serve as Chairlady on the She is Forestry task team that promotes entrepreneurship in the forestry industry, more specifically, to uplift the girl child and create awareness of opportunities for women within the Forestry sector.

Marina Daniel, owner of Sabie Poles

Efforts and achievements that lead Sabie Poles to be at the forefront of innovation and manufacturing:

Sabie Poles goes the extra mile to attend expo’s

– We regularly attend expo’s / tradeshows like for instance 

  • The opening of the Buco Wood Division store. We attended because just like us, they purely believe in the highest quality products and have a passion for wood! Sabie Poles are one of the leading manufacturers of CCA pressure Treated Timber in Southern Africa. We believe that we must get out there and educate consumers and buyers about the benefits and uses of CCA pressure treated timber.  Consumers can see, smell, and feel the wood and realise that nothing beats the feeling of wood! When buying Treated Timber products, be sure that the product you are getting comes from a reputable treater and will live up to its expectations.

Sabie Poles receives Seal of Approval

Over the last 27 years, we have perfected the art of timber treatment with CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenic) and received the seal of approval from multiple managing bodies like SABS (South African Bureau of Standards), NRCS (National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications)SAWPA (South African Wood Preservation Association) and meet all international guidelines, making Sabie Poles the obvious choice for exporting timber.

Sabie Poles stay up to date with the latest information regarding timber manufacturing and forestry sustainability by relying on some of the country’s leading experts in the field namely:

  • Lonza(Leaders in Wood Preservatives) We continuously keep an eye on the latest products and best practices in the industry for optimal results. We work closely with Lonza, previously known as Arxada and their Tanalith Treatment Chemicals to ensure the longevity of the end products.
  • SABS and NRCS (South African Bureau of Standards and National Regulator of Compulsory Standards)Our Treated Timber products are certified by both bodies. Therefore, we always adhere to and exceed the national standards given by these South African bodies.
  • SAWPA (South African Wood Preservatives Association)

In addition, we also rely on information and the latest research studies done by SAWPA. We are passionate about wood and timber preservatives. These regulating bodies help us to stay up to date and at the forefront of innovation time and time again.

Certified & Trusted

As the national standardisation authority, the SABS is responsible for maintaining South Africa's database of more than 6,500 national standards, as well as developing new standards and revising, amending or withdrawing existing standards as required

South African Wood Preservers Association, SAWPA, promotes preservative timber treatment and these products in South Africa.

The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications mandate includes promoting public health and safety, environmental protection and ensuring fair trade.

Effective preservative technologies from Lonza extend the service life of timbers, making them a high performance material choice for a wide range of construction, landscaping and engineering applications.
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 southern African countries.

Knowing the circumstances of the effect plantations have on the environment Sabie Poles decided to plant selected Eucalyptus species. By doing so it will yield the highest quality timber while still being environmentally friendly.

Sabie Poles took the following factors into consideration:

  • Amount of water the specific species needs from seedling to tree.
  • The speed at which the tree grows plays a huge role in the quality of your timber.
  • Amount of oxygen a specific specie produces per hectare

There are many more positive factors, but this is the most important. Sabie Poles have looked at a combination of these factors to ensure that they are kind to the earth while still producing high-quality timber products

We have always cooperated with governmental programs such as working for water to address social, economic, and environmental problems simultaneously. We realize the importance of forest sustainability and do our very best to save the environment for future generations.

Sabie Poles is just one of many success stories that has proven that empowering women can make a difference. Woman can prove that they have it in them to be trusted with important roles in the forestry Industry.

We are a leading business in this industry. We’ve always believed in producing high-quality products at a fair price with excellent customer service. We are passionate about manufacturing products that will last at least 25 years. We aid in the fight against deforestation in South Africa and the world.

Roles of other Women in the Industry

Furthermore, Forestry South Africa celebrated the International day of women and girls held on 11 February. The focus was on the “THE WOMAN IN FORESTRY” research project. They interviewed 18 women, who represent a small fraction of the growing body of the Industry. You can read their feedback on the Forestry South Africa Website.

Focusing on the future of women in forestry

Congresses & projects were launched to address gender inequality in the forestry sector issue.

One example is The Woman’s Forest Congress. They focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion by amplifying the voice of women to shape the future of our forests. 

“Women throughout the forest space will come together to share personal and professional experiences, connect with other women in the sector, shape the latest innovations, and analyze how actions informed by the female perspective can make a profound and lasting impact on the future of forests.” The congress will be held in 2022

The Women’s Forest Congress will develop forest-based strategies and solutions, from a variety of female perspectives, to address today’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, social inequality, and the global pandemic. Women in leadership, workforce considerations, and women serving as catalysts for change are among other key topics and opportunities identified.


In 2022 She is Forestry SA will recognize and promote women who have excelled and made an impact in the Forestry Sector. In doing so, we can motivate women to choose a career in the forestry sector. It is still believed that this sector is male-dominated. The main goal is to eliminate this idea and let everyone know that the future of Forestry is female!

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