Forestry will continue to drive B.C.’s Economy
For Immediate Release
March 9, 2009
Ministry of Forests and Range
VICTORIA – The Working Roundtable on Forestry today released its report and recommendations for a vibrant and successful forest industry for future generations, announced Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell.“All British Columbians benefit from a strong forest sector,” said Bell. “And this report reminds us of the tremendous forest-based opportunities that lie ahead. By setting a clear vision and priorities, everyone in our forest sector – industry, workers, communities and First Nations – can work with common purpose to create new jobs and drive the B.C. forest economy for decades to come.
The Working Roundtable on Forestry’s vision is for “a vibrant, sustainable, globally competitive forest industry that provides enormous benefits for current and future generations and for strong communities.” The Roundtable Report sets six priorities to help achieve the vision:
1. A commitment to using wood first.
2. Growing trees, sequestering carbon, and ensuring that land is available from which to derive a range of forest products.
3. Creating a globally competitive, market-based operating climate.
4. Embracing innovation and diversification.
5. Supporting prosperous rural forest economies.
6. First Nations becoming full partners in forestry.
The Working Roundtable also identifies 29 recommendations for actions that are consistent with these priorities. The 19 members of the roundtable brought a diversity of perspectives and experience to arrive at consensus on the vision, priorities and recommendations.
“I want to thank all roundtable members for their tremendous contribution,” said Bell. With backgrounds ranging from labour to local government to First Nations leadership, from land use planning to large scale manufacturing, the diversity of opinions and perspectives created a strong report that all members support.”
“Roundtable members are clear that no one entity can solve the problems facing the forest sector, or position the industry for future success. While it’s certain that government will continue to play a leadership role and the report will help shape forest policy, the recommendations are directed at all those involved in the forest industry. We all need to act together to achieve the benefits a vibrant forest industry can offer.”
Announced at last year’s Truck Loggers Association Convention, the Working Roundtable on Forestry was formed in March 2008 and held meetings in 19 communities around the province. The Roundtable considered over 250 submissions from individuals, communities, First Nations, forest companies and associations, organized labour, environmental groups and citizens.
To download a copy of the report or for more information on the Working Roundtable on Forestry, visit www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestry_roundtable
1 backgrounder(s) attached.
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests and Range