For the past few years, Canada’s forestry industry has suffered as a result of the economic downturn. Now, an expert in the field says investment in forestry needs to be targeted at research and innovation to get the most from the country’s rich forests.
Some traditional markets such as the US housing market and newsprint have slowed their demand for timber products off the back of the recession. In light of this, research and innovation needs to concentrate on finding new, emerging and exciting processes, products and markets for Canada’s forest industries.
Don Floyd, the Dean of Forestry and Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick, says this type of forestry investment could lead to the re-emergence of “vibrant rural communities” and “resilient ecosystem”.
Floyd points out that over the last 40 years or so, government have used forestry investment to maintain rural employment and support struggling mills. However, sustainability needs to come more into focus for current and subsequent governments, says Floyd, who believes there are opportunities for the industry to flourish with this redirection of funding.
Climate change and recession are the buzz words of today and the industry needs to respond by realising the value of sustainable approaches to forestry. Re-evaluating the value held in trees is important in today’s changing world, where opportunities to make more money than ever lie in exciting new processes and forestry products.