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IBCE 2016 comes to Prince George

June 16, 2016 - The Prince George Civic Centre filled this morning with bioenergy professionals from around the world to take in the first day of sessions at the seventh International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, B.C.

Conference co-chair Greg Stewart kicked off the day’s sessions introducing Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall who welcomed the 260 delegates to the conference.

Hall discussed the importance of the forestry sector, including the bioenergy sector, to the city’s culture and its community. 

“For us in Prince George, there’s no question that the forest industry is the foundation of our community,” he told the crowd. “We have upward of 3,000 people employed in those industries.”

Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, president of North Central Local Government Association also welcomed attendees to the conference.

“The field of bioenergy can flourish here like no other place on Earth,” she told the crowd.

Conference co-chair Michael Weedon, executive director of the BC Bioenergy Network, finished off the welcoming session by introducing keynote speaker John Martin, Parliamentary Secretary to the B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Martin told the crowd that the government has made forest sector competitiveness a priority.

“The forest sector is one of the province’s key economic drivers,” he said.

Martin briefly discussed the province’s Fibre Action Plan, which was created in collaboration with the forestry sector.

“The Fibre Action Plan is an example of how we can make a difference when all of the forest sector works together,” he said.

Key actions in the action plan include a commitment to government to improve policy related to secondary sources of fibre, including exploring supplemental forest licenses that can provide a secondary source of fibre for the bioenergy sector when primary sources such as sawmills are not available.

“B.C.’s bioenergy and bioproducts sector is well-positioned to succeed,” Martin said.