The Government of British Columbia announced today that it is investing $8 million to promote the use of B.C. wood, help advance wood building systems and products, and to expand global markets for B.C. wood products.
Premier Christy Clark made the announcement while attending the Council of Forest Industries annual convention in Kelowna.
“B.C.’s vibrant and globally competitive forest industry relies upon international markets for wood products. By advancing market development efforts we are helping to generate economic activity across the province, strengthening B.C. communities and creating and sustaining jobs,” said Premier Clark.
The funding is being made available to 15 different industry trade associations and research institutes that deliver market development programs on behalf of government and industry. B.C.’s contribution is being managed through Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), the Province’s market development agency for forest products.
“B.C. is home to one of the world’s most sustainable and globally competitive forest sectors. Maintaining leadership in this area requires continued innovation at home, and efforts to grow new and emerging markets abroad,” said Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat
Of the $8 million, $6.2 million will be made available for activities targeted at expanding markets for B.C.’s wood products, with investment priorities that reflect evolving market opportunities in Asia and North America. The remaining $1.8 million will be made available for activities delivered through the Wood First program, which fosters the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C. through research, education, marketing and capacity building.
These activities will be delivered on a cost-shared basis, with additional funding being provided by industry and the federal government through Natural Resources Canada.
“Every year, B.C. hosts visitors from around the world who want to learn more about B.C. forests and the advantages of using wood and wood-based building systems. We are recognized as a global leader not only in how we use wood, but also in how we sustainably manage our forests, helping meet the environmental, social and economic needs of current and future generations in B.C.,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
Building international markets for B.C.’s natural resources is a component of the BC Jobs Plan. The B.C. forest sector employs more than 60,000 British Columbians and supports over 7,000 businesses.
- In 2015, wood products represented 36% of B.C.’s total exports.
- In 2015, B.C. exported $12.9 billion in forest products (lumber, pulp and paper and other wood products.
- B.C. exports over 90% of all forest products.
- B.C. has more third-party forest certification than any jurisdiction in the world, except for Canada as a whole.
- Canada is the world leader in sustainable forest certification with over 40% of the world’s third-party certified forests.
- Wood products from the Province’s sustainably managed forests help tackle climate change by being a renewable building material and a means to store carbon.
Source: BC Gov News