Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands

Deforestation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and results in the loss of forests that absorb and store carbon and provide other ecosystem services.

British Columbia is one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce a zero net deforestation ("ZND") goal in legislation.  The Zero Net Deforestation Act defines the key terms and sets out the reporting requirements for government.

Achieving ZND supports the B.C. government's June 2008 Climate Action Plan, under which government and industry are working collaboratively to act in all sectors of the economy and transition B.C. to a low carbon economy.

Approximately 6,200 hectares were deforested in B.C. in 2007.  Approximately 2,000 hectares were afforested the same year.  B.C.'s goal is to reduce deforestation and increase afforestation to close the gap by 2015 and beyond.

Government is working with First Nations, industry and communities to develop implementation options and an implementation plan to achieve ZND by 2015.  Engagement sessions in June 2010 and numerous written submissions from stakeholders provided many innovative suggestions for the use of existing incentives and for raising awareness to promote voluntary action by businesses and individuals.

Zero Net Deforestation Video

Canada's foremost forest carbon research scientist, Dr. Werner Kurz, explains the importance of reducing deforestation in this short video, which also features students from Shawnigan Lake School and professional silviculture workers doing their part for afforestation and ecological restoration.