The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has released the Halifax Global report resulting from the comprehensive review of the forest industry on the island.
“We launched this review to assist in determining the best path forward for a sustainable forest industry given the changing global market for wood products and the impact that was having on our rural communities,” said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minster of Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. “We worked closely with the consultant and addressed industry challenges as they were identified. We realized at the outset, as this study points out, that our industry has to evolve and diversify to survive in today’s market place.”
Halifax Global was retained in 2007 to assess the state and structure of the industry and its ability to respond to changing global markets. Industry participants helped draft the Terms of Reference for the Newfoundland Forest Sector Strategy and a steering committee of industry representatives assisted the consulting firm in its work.
The report addresses key issues around the allocation of timber, land tenure, land-use conflicts and effective land-use planning. It indicates that a sustainable licensing harvest allocation system is required to ensure manufacturers of forest products have access to raw material, and pulp mills can reliably predict future supply so the necessary capital investments can be made.
Many of the recommendations in the report have already been implemented, including bioenergy development, establishing an industry adjustment fund, investigation of potential international markets and increasing support for technical skills development through the College of the North Atlantic.
The Newfoundland Forest Sector Strategy is available on the NL Department of Natural Resources web site at www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr.