Like many commodity sectors, the forestry industry has been beset with hardship since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic last March. Supply chain disruption has wreaked havoc on the movement of timber around the globe, culminating in record low levels of timber import values in Europe.
The recovery from the pandemic is vitally important. Governments around the world are revaluating sustainability protocols and green energy drives sparking large amounts of investment into the sector.
Canada in particular is demonstrating a remarkable commitment to improving sustainable technology and improving the forestry sector. On 12th May The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, launched a call for proposals under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program.
In a new Canadian budget plan, the scheme was provided with $54.8 million over two years, starting in 2021–22, to support the sector’s competitiveness, greener solutions and encourage the adoption of transformative technologies.
The Canadian government is aiming to squeeze more value from trees by promoting alternate strategies for value chain optimisation. The goal of this strategy is to take a measured approach to sourcing materials and considering economic and environmental impacts.
The hope is that this new program will allow Canadian forestry to recover quickly from the downturn in economic prosperity throughout the last year whilst improving sustainability and renewability.
Projects eligible include for-profit companies located in Canada, that either:
- produce forest products in an existing facility (i.e. pulp, paper or solid/engineered wood products facility)
- are new entrants in the Canadian forest sector for the purpose of the proposed project
- will be new entrants in the Canadian forest sector for the purpose of the proposed project
This program is a major step back to normality for Canadian forestry firms and the move by the government to promote sustainable practices should be emulated by countries around the globe.
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