Canadian Wood, the crown agency of the government of British Columbia (B.C.) recently hosted a webinar focused on the theme ‘Sustainable Forestry, Certifications & Climate Change’. The webinar is a testimony of Canadian Wood’s continuous efforts of imparting knowledge among all stakeholders on the subjects related to sustainable forestry and use of softwood.
Sustainable forestry is a proven practice that helps in maintaining and enhancing the long-term health of forest ecosystems for the benefit of all living things. British Columbia (B.C.), is recognized as a global leader in sustainable forest management and is known for meeting the environmental, social, and economic needs of the current and future generations.
The webinar also revealed that India is a large scale consumer of forestry products but most of the forests in India are protected and can no longer provide a reliable source of good quality wood. That is why India needs to rely on imports of certified wood to satisfy the growing demand among consumers. However, savvy consumers demand that companies demonstrate high levels of concern for the environment while producing products. Thus, it has become highly important to verify that wood products come from a sustainably managed and legally harvested resource.
Forests reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and in turn help reduce the negative impacts of climate change. The webinar emphasized that keeping forests healthy is a critical part of reducing harmful green gas emissions. The discussion further deep-dived into how sustainable forest management is one of the most important practice that can help curb climate change and global warming by absorbing nearly a quarter of carbon emissions. BC forests are reforested promptly using a mix of native tree species and 200 million seedlings are planted annually.
The panel further talked about forest certification programs that are developed nationally and regionally in countries around the world include the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Savvy consumers in India and around the world demand that companies demonstrate high levels of concern for the environment while producing products. Hence, while buying wood from sustainably managed sources, consumers look for the PEFC, FSC and SFI certification labels to assure their compliance with environmental standards.
Speaking at the webinar, Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, Canadian Wood said: “Forests are one of the key areas of focus when it comes to restoration of earth’s ecosystem. Needless to mention that forests impact climate change, and looking after them can help mitigate natural calamities. It is said that harvesting forest is essential to keep forests healthy, as old trees and aging forests are less efficient in sucking in carbon and releasing oxygen and decaying forests release their stored carbon slowly in the atmosphere and rapidly through wildfire. Thus, reforestation and sustainable forestry ensures that carbon cycle continues through healthy forests that store carbon.”
“India’s forests are protected which is helping the nation to grow its forest cover as part of its commitment towards mitigation of global warming. However, it is making India a fiber deficient nation and dependent on imported wood to meet its needs. Canada as a long term sustainable source of certified wood to fiber deficient nations such as India, can help advance the world’s collective fight against climate change.” he added.
Emphasizing on certification of forestry products, Mr. Chhibber added; “Forest management certification has been adopted quickly across Canada and now more than 75% of the country’s managed forest land is certified. As of the end of 2020, Canada had 164 billion hectares of independently certified forest land. This represents 36% of all certified forests worldwide, the largest area of third party certified forest in any country. This coupled with a strong forest management and governance support showcases Canada’s reputation as a source of legally certified product produce.”
Canadian Wood associated with ICBC (Indo Canadian Business Chamber) to host this insightful webinar. The panel was chaired by Mr. Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, Canadian Wood and Mr. Arun Kumar Bansal, Chairperson, PCA, NCCF, PEFC-NGB, India; keynote addressed by Ms. Nadira Hamid, CEO, ICBC (Indo Canadian Business Chamber) and Mr. Peter Bradfield, Technical Advisor, Canadian Wood moderated the session.
Canadian Wood has been consistently conducting monthly webinars with the objective to educate the woodworking industry on sustainable forestry, wood practices in modern architecture, etc. These webinar sessions by Canadian Wood along with the woodworking industry colleagues have been covering a wide range of topics of significance to the wood industry, thus encouraging the use of certified wood from B.C. Canada.