Tuesday, September 23, 2008

National Forest Week

In the midst of National Forest Week, I started thinking about the theme for this year: "Canada's Forests - Biodiversity in a Changing World".

It is interesting how much the forestry sector has changed throughout the years. Instead of focusing on exports and softwood, value-added products are a key component to the British Columbia Forestry system. Alongside the value-added products is an emphasis on sustainable development and management of our forests and all associated industries.

The BC NDP caucus has developed a well-rounded plan to ensure that value added products are created within BC, and that the forest industry is available for generations to come. This plan - conveniently named "State of OUR Forests" - includes:
  • a green plan for B.C.'s forests,
  • develop a new approach to the forestry industry,
  • create a community and worker sustainability program
  • establish a permanent forestry commission in British Columbia
  • negotiate softwood lumber and tenure reform.
Interestingly, the theme for National Forest Week includes the idea of protecting the biodiversity of our forests, while adapting to a changing world. Taken from the National Forest Week website:
National Forest Week is a time to reflect on the important role that forests play in our daily lives and to celebrate Canadians' connection to the forest. The life of a forest may span many human lifetimes, yet it is possible to explore a forest’s past and influence its future. Maintaining a healthy forest depends on intricate relationships among the living things that make up that ecosystem – in other words, biodiversity.

Our knowledge of forest biodiversity, built over many generations, is key to understanding how a forest grows and changes over time. This insight, combined with the principles of conservation and sustainable forest management, helps us to use our forests responsibly.

Without being overly partisan, pieces of the BC NDP plan take into account the needs of communities who rely on the forests for their livelihood AND the takes the necessary steps to keep the forests around for future generations.

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