Meet some of the Faces of Forestry featured in this year’s State of Canada’s Forests report, where we highlight the innovative ways people work and study in our forests. We feature a fourth-generation logger, a mass timber construction champion, a researcher studying caribou reproduction and several entrepreneurs at the forefront of the global bioeconomy.
Forestry is now leading the way in the burgeoning bioeconomy; helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition Canada to a low-carbon economy. For example, Montreal-based Anomera converts forestry biomass into biodegradable cosmetic ingredients as an alternative to harmful micro-plastics, in the process opening up access to the multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry.
Forestry is also presenting more and more opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities such as the Pacheedaht First Nation of British Columbia. In this report, you can read how they recently formed key partnerships within the forest industry to manage their traditional forest land, while also creating jobs.
Increasingly diverse — and resilient — the forest industry has weathered some serious storms as of late, which have compelled it to evolve. Today, non-traditional forest products have become more important to the industry and are fostering new clean-tech development opportunities. Just ask Lambos Tsaousidis — another of our Faces of Forestry — a Toronto-based entrepreneur who uses reclaimed, local wood to produce artisanal flooring, furniture and cabinetry.
In fact, the popularity of building materials that come from renewable resources such as wood is increasing worldwide — for many reasons. Using sustainably harvested wood can reduce a building’s carbon footprint while lowering greenhouse gas emissions by storing carbon in the wood itself. This, in turn, increases our international competitiveness in emerging markets such as Asia.
Historically, forestry is one of Canada’s most important manufacturing industries, accounting for 7.2 percent of all exports, injecting roughly $24.6 billion into the economy and employing more than 200,000 people across the country.
But with the bioeconomy market expected to grow to as much as $5 trillion by 2030, clearly the Faces of Forestry themselves are changing. You’ll still find loggers, sawmill operators, biologists and tree planters. But increasingly, you will also find Indigenous-led companies, biochemists, engineers, physicists, architects and computer programmers — as the face of forestry evolves to mirror the diversity of Canada itself and the potential of our forests.
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi,
Minister of Natural Resources