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WFP seeks clarification on BC old-growth deferral measures


November 3, 2021
By Western Forest Products

Western Forest Products Inc. provides an initial response to the British Columbia provincial government’s update on its review of old growth forest management.

The province has announced its intention to work in partnership with First Nations on the proposed deferral of harvesting in 2.6 million hectares of B.C. forests. The proposed deferrals, if implemented, have been identified as temporary, and are subject to First Nations engagement. The province continues to state that final decisions on deferral areas will be based on discussions between the province and First Nations governments.

Western requires more specific information on the province’s proposed measures to meaningfully assess any potential impacts on the company’s business. Determination of potential impacts will be subject to further dialogue with the First Nations on whose territories the company operates and their government-to-government discussions. Should the proposed measures impact Western’s business, the company will seek support from the province for its workers and full compensation for investments.

The province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act affirms the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to free, prior and informed consent. Western respects government-to-government engagement and the critical role First Nations have in decisions that may affect them.

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Western has been working with First Nations for many years to foster positive working relationships built on respect for Aboriginal rights and title, including the right of First Nations to economically benefit from the lands within their territories. Western appreciates and welcomes the opportunity we have been given by many of our Indigenous partners to support and participate in these important processes.

Find the full news release here.