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British Columbia 1999

Event Overview

British Columbia 1999

June 14, 1999 - June 15, 1999

Vancouver, Canada

The marketplace has issued a new challenge to forest interests in British Columbia (BC) – the challenge of managing for high conservation values in forests that are not formally protected. Despite the polarization that has surrounded forest land use issues in BC, both forest companies and environmental groups can agree on two points: that purchasers of coastal BC forest products are demanding new approaches to conservation, and that shareholders in BC forest companies are demanding better returns from their investment.

Forest conservation in BC has largely resulted from parks and government regulation thus far. Can commerce also help sustain forest ecosystems? Is there going to be market demand for a more diverse range of products and values from BC's forest? If that demand is real, which forest values will the market pay for or pay more for? How will it pay for them? How can groups that own forest land or have various rights or interests in forest land in BC benefit from opportunities that could arise?

This workshop looked at new approaches to the creation of economic benefits from the full range of values associated with forests – including timber, biodiversity, carbon, watershed protection, habitat protection, ecotourism, non-timber products and natural heritage and aboriginal values. The workshop also considered new forms of investment and product development which may be capable of increasing the social and economic benefits derived from ecologically significant areas on the BC coast.

It was the first time the labor unions, environmental groups, timber companies, First Nations tribes, and the Crown government all met and worked together to find common sense solutions to the growing problems in British Columbia.

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