By: The Working Forest Staff
Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Trust –The first projects approved by the trustees of the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust have been announced.
The projects accelerate new opportunities within the Nova Scotia forestry sector, advance environmental, social, and economic objectives, and support the adoption of new ecological forestry practices.
Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) is receiving a one-year commitment of funding, for a potentially multi-year project of up to $2 million, to administer a new innovation voucher program.
NSCC’s Forestry Innovation Voucher Program will enable established businesses, new startups, non-profit community groups, and Mi’kmaq partners to leverage the college’s infrastructure, assets and expertise in the forestry sector to develop new products and technology as well as capitalize on business growth opportunities. Support available through the program includes access to NSCC’s demonstration woodlands for product testing and study, as well as access to services such as prototyping, design, test validation, and business model planning.
The project will be evaluated for future funding based on the initial year’s results.
The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq will receive $288,596 to support the Mi’kmaw Forestry Initiative announced in March 2019 which is intended to create opportunities for jobs, training and creation of Mi’kmaq businesses in silviculture and harvesting.
The initiative provides the Mi’kmaq with forest planning and management responsibility on two blocks of Crown land – one in the St. Croix area of Hants County, and another in Digby and Annapolis counties – totaling about 20,000 hectares.
Funding will support the hiring of a forestry cultural liaison to engage with the eight mainland Mi’kmaq communities and demonstrate their values, perspectives and practices around sustainable forest management, and ecological conservation and restoration to both Mi’kmaq and non-Mi’kmaq communities.
The trust also announced an initiative to sponsor a facilitated session for sector organizations wishing to support sustainable forestry practices in Nova Scotia.
The trustees received several applications proposing projects aimed at assisting private woodlot owners to adopt and maintain sustainable resource management practices. The process will support the development of a coordinated initiative.
Three other projects have been approved in principle and will be announced early in the new year after funding agreements are finalized.
Ten applications from the first call for proposals were declined because the projects did not meet the objectives of the trust.
The $50 million trust was announced in February and may be used by companies, organizations or post-secondary institutions to bring innovation to the forestry and biological resources sector.
Three trustees oversee the trust.
“The funded projects advance the overall purpose of the trust and support both innovation and transition in Nova Scotia’s forestry sector,” says Sandra McKenzie, chair, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust Board.
“With the support of the Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Transition Trust, we’re leveraging the assets, expertise, and entrepreneurial energy at our campuses to spark and support innovation throughout Nova Scotia’s forestry sector. Our new Forestry Innovation Voucher Program will work to accelerate diversification and inspire a sustainable future for this important cornerstone of Nova Scotia’s economy,” says Don Bureaux, President, NSCC.
“The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq is very pleased to be approved for the Nova Scotia Forest Innovation Transition Trust funding. For many years we have been seeing the benefit of having Indigenous knowledge twined with modern approaches, and this funding gives us and our member communities the ability to have our knowledge enhance training and capacity development opportunities for all those involved. This opportunity is a monumental step for forestry in Nova Scotia and we will see this as a benefit for many generations to come,” says Angeline Gillis, associate executive director, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq.
- innovation vouchers will be available in two options: applicants can receive up to $25,000 for 6-month projects or obtain up to $50,000 for one year
- a request for proposal will be issued in early 2021 to hire a facilitator to work with designated applicants
- 12 applications were received during the second intake which closed Nov. 30 and are being assessed
- the trust will issue three uptakes in 2021-22
- the fund will be available until March 31, 2025, or when the funds have been spent
- trustees are chair Sandra McKenzie, Douglas Hall, and David Saxton
Government’s forestry sector support website is at: https://novascotia.ca/forestry-sector-support/
More information about the Nova Scotia Forestry Innovation Trust is available at: https://novascotia.ca/forestry-trust/