At the end of 2018 Charlie Shackleton was appointed to the National Forestry Advisory Council (NFAC) for a three year term. This is a statutory council set to advise the minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries on all aspects relating to indigenous forests, plantations and woodlands in the country. The NFAC meets four times per year with senior staff of the ministry and at times the minister, and they provide an annual report to the minister on what they deem should be priority areas for his/her attention and for policy consideration in terms of issues and initiatives relating to forests and woodlands. Charlie was appointed on the basis of his longstanding and interdisciplinary expertise in many facets of forests and woodlands in South Africa, but with a specific emphasis on urban forests, non-timber forest products and poor communities use and reliance on forest resources. The role of the NFAC may become particularly important with the recent appointment of a new minister in the position who will need to rapidly achieve a critical and considered understanding of the various issues facing the forests, plantations and woodlands and communities’ subsistence and commercial use of them.