Resilience—a means to positive change for the forest sector or a cloak for protectionism?

By Bob Brash, TLA Executive Director
Truck LoggerBC Magazine
July 2, 2024
Category: Opinion / EdiTOADial
Region: Canada, Canada West

Every few years, we witness new vocabulary emerge into the BC forest sector’s world.  The most recent term to emerge is resilience. …The question is, will it become another passing buzzword, lead towards true, positive changes to advance our sector, or will it be a cloak for protectionism? BC’s forest sector has long been a cornerstone of the province’s economy and culture deeply intertwined with the natural environment, providing livelihoods for thousands and sustaining communities. However, the sector is currently facing unprecedented challenges that require innovative and resilient approaches. In this context, building multi-dimensional resilience means considering comprehensive environmental, economic, and social factors to ensure the forest sector can adapt and thrive in the face of these stresses.

…There are many things resilience cannot mean. It should not be a surrogate for even more protectionism or unreasonable constraints. The discussions leading to implementation of any forest management plans need to be objective and not subjectively guided. The prescriptions on a stand level must be achievable and financially viable. The moves toward their utilization cannot be abrupt or ignore the practical need for a real transition strategy. Uncertainty on interpreting the impacts of new policies cannot continue ad infinitum because tangible investment decisions will simply not happen. In the opinion of many, which we share, our forests need more management, not less to become more resilient on all fronts. By adopting a strategy addressing all necessary elements, BC can ensure that its forest sector remains a vital, prosperous, and sustainable part of its economy and heritage. The challenges are significant, but if environmental, economic and social resilience is properly considered, the BC forest sector can adopt a pathway to thrive amidst the complexities of the 21 century.

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