Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Our Natural Advantage:
Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia

As one of British Columbia’s largest economic drivers, forestry plays a vital role in advancing the BC Jobs Plan.

Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan was announced in September 2011 and identifies forestry as one of eight key economic sectors with competitive advantages to foster economic growth and create jobs.

Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia was released April 12, 2012 to ensure that B.C. fully leverages the natural advantages provided by its forest resources.

The Forest Sector Strategy builds on the priorities and recommendations brought forward by the Working Roundtable on Forestry. Those priorities are:

  1. A commitment to using wood first

  2. Growing trees, sequestering carbon, and ensuring that land is available from which to derive a range of forest products

  3. Creating a globally competitive, market-based operating climate

  4. Embracing innovation and diversification

  5. Supporting prosperous rural forest economies

  6. First Nations becoming full partners in forestry

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Fast Facts about the Forest Sector

In 2011, the B.C. forest sector employed over 53,000 workers. In addition to new jobs, as many as 25,000 forestry job openings are projected in the next 10 years as existing workers retire. Since 2001, the Province has invested more than $831 million to battle the Mountain Pine Beetle. The Working Roundtable on Forestry was created in March 2008 to consider the long-term future of B.C.’s forest industry. As of January 2012, the Province had revenue-sharing agreements with 125 First Nations. As part of the BC Jobs Plan, the Province will double its international presence in the economies that matter most to our economic future, namely China, Japan, Korea and India. Forty-two local governments around B.C. have also adopted Wood First policies, resolutions or bylaws to promote wood in municipally funded buildings. B.C. has 56 community forests completed or in process covering 1.3 million hectares with an allowable annual cut of 1.6 million cubic metres. BC Timber Sales (BCTS) auctions 11 to 12 million cubic metres of timber each year across the province, creating a robust, open and competitive market for fibre. In 2011/12, more than 199 million trees will be planted on Crown land. By the end of 2011, lumber sales to China totalled about $1.1 billion – an increase of almost 1,500 per cent from $69 million in 2003. In 2010, the Province unveiled Fibre Connections BC – a government service that facilitates linkages between fibre suppliers, manufacturers and investors to streamline the flow of B.C. wood to its highest-value use. By 2015, the bioproducts sector is expected to be worth more than $200 billion.