Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands

Background Information

  • News Release – Legislation introduced for zero net deforestation, March 22, 2010.

  • Fact Sheet – Useful statistics and information about deforestation, afforestation, and B.C.'s zero net deforestation goal.

  • Presentation – Outlines zero net deforestation and ideas for action presented at stakeholder sessions.

Each year, new developments, urbanization, agricultural conversions, new power lines and other utility corridors contribute to deforestation.

Deforestation refers to changing the use of forest land to support other activities, like agriculture or human settlement.  Other sources of deforestation include forest roads and building major projects, such as hydro reservoirs and pipelines.

Deforestation releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and removes millions of trees that are absorbing and storing carbon.

To reverse this problem, the Province committed in the 2008 Throne Speech to a goal of zero net deforestation.  The Province is working with First Nations, industry and communities to put that goal into law by 2010 and establish a viable strategy for realizing that vision by 2015.

British Columbia's Climate Action Plan also highlights the importance of zero net deforestation as part of taking climate action in the forest sector.

Greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation can be offset through afforestation, which refers to planting land that hasn't been forested since 1990 to increase the size and number of B.C. forests.

Zero net deforestation will be applied to all lands in British Columbia, using existing incentives and raising awareness.