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BC commits $19M to boost role of forests in fighting climate change


April 29, 2022
By CFI staff
Photo: Annex Business Media

The B.C. government has set aside $19 million of its CleanBC funding to increase carbon stored in B.C.’s forests and to develop Indigenous-led low-carbon forest-based products.

More than $15 million of the funds will go towards increasing carbon storage in forests and enhancing forest management, including the fertilization of around 8,500 hectares of forests, the government said.

The other $4 million will expand the existing Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program to include a new accelerator stream for scaling up low-carbon forest-based products.

B.C. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy made the funding announcement at the BC Council of Forestry Industries (COFI) annual convention yesterday. “Our government is taking action to promote healthy forests as a legacy for our children and grandchildren while building a sustainable, innovative forest economy that’s led by Indigenous Peoples,” Conroy said.

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COFI president and CEO Susan Yurkovich said in the news release the funding announcement, B.C. is a global leader in sustainable forest management, with over 98 per cent of forests certified to the highest internationally recognized third-party standards

“Today’s announcement will further strengthen how we collectively work to take care of B.C.’s forests to support a healthy environment, good jobs for British Columbians and a healthier planet. Growing Indigenous participation in the bioeconomy will also bolster stewardship of B.C.’s forests and contribute to climate solutions while creating new economic opportunities for people and communities,” Yurkovich said.

B.C.’s Indigenous Forest Bioeconomy Program has delivered 41 projects with 24 Indigenous communities and organizations, such as: essential oils extracted from conifer needles; engineered wood product made from dead and degraded wood from fires and beetle kill; textiles made from bark; and insulation made from scrap wood fibre.