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Sustainable forest management practices in B.C., Canada

British Columbia has stringent environmental regulations, mandating that only 0.35% of the forest can be harvested annually.(Pic by Nik West/ Naturallywood.com)

Sustainability has become a pressing reality as the world grapples with environmental crises and the increasingly destructive impacts of climate change. In response, societies worldwide are re-evaluating their practices and seeking sustainable solutions, including India.

The country is fully committed to achieving its goal of net-zero emissions by 2070, and this ambition has permeated every sector of the country, from railways to real estate. It has also given rise to an increasing awareness of timber as a sustainable and durable material within the country and is rapidly evolving into a movement.

In this pursuit, Canadian Wood has emerged as a leader, particularly in the realm of sustainable forest management and reforestation. Sourced from the renewable and certified forests of British Columbia (B.C.), it perfectly aligns with India’s sustainability goals.

Canadian Wood is at the forefront of the green construction trend, not just in India, but across the world. It offers a range of sustainably sourced lumber options, including Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Yellow Cedar, Western Red Cedar and Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF).

Healthy ecosystems

These wood species are responsibly harvested from B.C. forests, which are renowned for their impeccable track record in sustainable forest management. But what exactly does that entail?

It refers to a set of actions aimed at maintaining and improving the health of forests and their ecosystems for both present and future generations. This approach takes into account ecological, social, and economic factors.

While ecologically focused forest management are known to address concerns such as air quality, biodiversity loss, climate change and soil erosion, it also takes into consideration factors like employment generation, income, trade and investments related to forests – as well as the needs of local communities.

B.C.’s renewable forests have set the bar when it comes to sustainable forest management practices as they are grounded in scientific research, robust forest laws and regulations, meticulous processes, and extensive public consultation. Some of the key practices implemented in the region include:

Harvesting check: B.C. has stringent laws and environmental regulations governing its forests. One of these mandates that only 0.35% of the forest, approximately 2,00,000 hectares, can be harvested annually. Furthermore, this harvested area must be immediately reforested by planting native tree species.

The Chief Forester in the province is also required to review the timber supply every 10 years and regulate the amount of wood that can be harvested across the various forest units.

Forest health: In addition to commercial timber growth, sustainable forestry in B.C. employs various techniques to preserve and protect the natural health of the forests. These techniques include silvicultural system, which encompasses planning, harvesting and regeneration.

Apart from this, there is selection cutting that is practiced in dry and steep terrains and clear cutting, which is utilised to prevent wildfires.

New-age technology: B.C.’s forest management practices incorporate modern technology, such as high-tech drones and lasers, to scan, monitor and safeguard forests and their terrain.

These technologies also contribute to environmental research and providing solutions to issues like fibre loss during harvesting and manufacturing processes.

Biodiversity conservation: Through meticulous land use planning, B.C. has designated over 15% of its lands and water as protected areas. This participatory process involves the engagement of British Columbians in decision-making concerning public lands and forests. As a result, B.C. has been successful in conserving biodiversity and protecting wildlife habitats.

Forest certification: B.C. places significant value on forest certification, complementing its existing legal rules and regulations. Approximately 9% of the world’s certified forests are found in in this region.

Third-party certifications, such as the Canadian Standards Association’s Sustainable Forest Management Standard, in partnership with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), provide credibility to B.C.’s renewable forests.

Through its leadership in sustainable forest management and reforestation practices, Canadian Wood exemplifies the crucial role that wood can play in mitigating environmental impacts and advancing a greener future.

By embracing Canadian Wood products, India can further propel its sustainability agenda while benefiting from the remarkable qualities and durability of these sustainable wood options.

Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (better known as Canadian Wood) is the crown agency of the government of B.C., the western-most province of Canada.

Its mandate is to promote wood products from B.C. Canada in the offshore markets and to position it as a global supplier of quality, environmentally responsible and certified wood products from sustainably managed forests by creating awareness, spreading education through information and technical support on the wide variety of timber products available from B.C. Canada.

Its brand/logo Canadian Wood was established in 2013 to reach out to the ease of understanding of its activities by its

target audience globally. To learn more about Canadian Wood, visit www.canadianwood.in.

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