By: The Working Forest Staff
OTTAWA – The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) agreed during recent meetings to address the future forest bioeconomy, climate change, innovation and opportunities to support the management of caribou habitat – a top priority for the forest sector.
The Council unanimously endorsed A Forest Bioeconomy Framework for Canada. The Framework outlines a bold vision for the future of the forest sector and the role for biomass in the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy. It is a non-binding commitment among CCFM partners and specific pathways may be endorsed, adopted and mobilized by jurisdictions accordingly. Leveraging this forest bio-based advantage will help spur innovation, investment, research, and partnerships.
To take immediate action in advancing Canada’s forest bioeconomy, the CCFM identified short-term priority areas. Through collaborative efforts, federal, provincial and territorial governments will focus on stimulating the supply of forest bioproducts through improved standards and enhanced data collection and increasing demand for biomass through outreach and effective regulations.
The Council also reaffirmed that federal, provincial and territorial governments have a strong leadership role to play in catalyzing new opportunities through collaboration, engagement and mobilization.
“In support of the CCFM Forest Bioeconomy Framework, B.C. is developing forest bioeconomies through innovation and advanced clean technologies. We’re also collaborating with FPInnovations, major forest licensees, value added manufacturers, academia, First Nations and rural communities to build a strong and competitive forest bioeconomy to ensure the long-term success of our forest sector,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development, in a CCFM media release.
While Canada’s forest bioeconomy is supported by robust sustainable forest management practices backed by sound forest science, the CCFM recognizes that it also requires investment to diversify this important Canadian industry, bring green jobs to rural communities and youth, and help foster greater collaboration with Indigenous peoples. These issues are targeted by the framework’s four pillars: Communities and Relationships; Supply of Forest Resources and Advanced Bioproducts; Demand for Advanced Forest Bioproducts and Services; and Support for Innovation.
CCFM notes that Canada’s forest bioeconomy represents the future—providing innovative low carbon solutions without significantly disrupting the daily activities of Canadians. It includes forest and biomass supply chain management, building design, community resilience, consumer behaviours, and the sustainable production of ecological goods and services from Canada’s forests. A forest bioeconomy will maintain and enhance the role that forests have played in the cultures, shared heritage and economic future of Canadians.
“The bioeconomy presents Canada with tremendous opportunity to create more jobs, develop new supply chains and build a new industry,” said Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, when announcing the bioeconomy plan. “The Framework endorsed today lays the groundwork for Canada to achieve this potential.”
Read the Framework document here.