Forestry for our future, low-carbon economy
People living in forestry-dependent communities on the coast of British Columbia have felt a renewed sense of pride in their way of life over the past six months with the launch of the Forestry Friendly Communities website. While the website touts the fundamental economic importance of the sector on the lives of the people living in these coastal towns, it also encourages them to celebrate the sustainable practices of this modern industry with interactive items such as an up-to-the-second tree-planting counter.
With roots extending back to the inception of our province, forestry is not just a foundational sector for our economy – it’s a green one. Almost 8 billion trees have been planted in BC. 22% of Crown land base is preserved in parks and conservancies. With the signing of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, over 55% of BC’s coastal, old growth temperate rainforests is conserved.
Our products are the most sustainable construction materials on the globe. For instance, Vancouver-based architect Michael Green’s states that a single 100,000 square foot building made of wood instead of competing materials such as concrete would have a total carbon benefit equal to 7,380 metric tons of CO2. This is the equivalent of taking 1,410 cars off the road for a year for a single building.
From a national perspective, Canada’s forest products industry has reduced its GHG emissions by 66% since 1990. Forest sectors across the nation are united in transforming and diversifying their products and markets to create more value from their fibre streams and bring to market more carbon friendly materials and products. The Forest Products Association of Canada has introduced a new paradigm called the “Bio Design Super Cluster” to connect a range of industries operating in Canada’s bioeconomy across the value chain to accelerate knowledge transfer and advance the bio economy in Canada.
While forestry on the BC coast and throughout the nation is green, innovative and a key solution to combatting climate change through a green economy, it needs to remain competitive to do so. This is essential if we are to offer global citizens a solution to combatting climate change.
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