Private and public finance essential to decarbonize forests – Williams Lake Tribune


In my opinion, one of the most important announcements of COP26 was that of Mark Carney of $ 130 trillion in private capital to be devoted to decarbonization.

Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, has successfully enrolled all major Western banks in his Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), allowing him to announce the funding.

Access to funds is essential for decarbonization in provincial forest programs. For example, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC). The FESBC has been very effective in supporting projects across the province that match its mandate.

The Government of British Columbia invested $ 238 million in FESBC, of ​​which $ 237.6 million was allocated to 269 forest development projects in March 2021.

Here are a few examples: 10.4 million trees have been planted on approximately 8,800 hectares, and the growth of an additional 34.65 million seedlings for planting in the years to come has supported the use of approximately 865,000 m3 of uneconomic residual fibers that would otherwise have been burned.

Cariboo citizens are well aware of the many forest fire management activities around their communities which have made it possible to thin out and prune stands and send a large part of the residual materials to bioenergy plants or for the production of Pellets.

Another good example was described by Jim Stirling in the last Logging and Sawmilling Journal.

“Seaton Forest Products is a company focused on using lower quality lumber, but it generates a host of high quality benefits. This small sawmill located near Witset (Moricetown) in the Bulkley Valley region of west-central British Columbia provides local jobs while reducing the carbon footprint, ”writes Stirling.

“Like all good entrepreneurs, the directors behind Seaton Forest Products were hoping to find practical uses for regionally sourced fiber that no one else was using. In the case of Kirsteen Laing (the administrator) and Andy Thompson (manager) with Seaton, they found it as a dry, decadent balm, Stirling notes, adding that the fiber type now includes around 80 percent of their wooden basket with the balance of dry pine and spruce.

“Dry wood is riddled with cracks and fissures,” he writes. “These flaws often translate into minimal returns for the large-scale lumber mills that dominate the interior of British Columbia. He was therefore left in the forest. But when made in cants, scrap wood is sought after for the options it presents to sectors of the building material market in China.

Stirling says Seaton Forest Products’ ability to turn “wasted” wood into viable products, reduce carbon emissions and create jobs primarily for native workers has sparked interest from the FESBC. FESBC, with support from the federal government, invested $ 2.5 million in Seaton Forest Products in 2018 to support a three-and-a-half-year project.

“Essentially, what the funding allows Seaton to go further than it could otherwise afford to find its source of decadent, dry wood fiber. This means further extending the benefits, ”writes Stirling.

“More wood that no one else wants is taken out of the bush so that it doesn’t end up being burned, releasing carbon into the atmosphere or simply left in place where it becomes a forest fire hazard. The funding also helps maintain the employment opportunities that Seaton Forest Products is able to offer.

Much of the residual wood is still burned on landings or left in harvested areas across the province, meaning potential wood fiber loss as well as jobs.

With increasing wood loss from pests, forest fires and the impacts of climate change, future funding will be essential in projects like those discussed above.

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