Canadian Forest Service Publications

Opportunities and challenges for Ontario's forest bioeconomy. 2011. Puddister, D.; Dominy, S.W.J.; Baker, J.A.; Morris, D.M.; Maure, J.; Rice, J.A.; Jones, T.A.; Majumdar, I.; Hazlett, P.; Titus, B.D.; Fleming, R.L.; Wetzel, S. The Forestry Chronicle 87(4):468-477.

Year: 2011

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 32633

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Ontario’s forest sector is undergoing a significant shift owing to declining markets for traditional products; this shift is further exacerbated by a cyclical industry downturn. These factors are leading to extensive job losses in Ontario’s north as well as rural community upheaval. Governments are striving to reverse these effects by stimulating new industries focused on using forest biofibre for products such as fuel for energy, specialty chemicals, and polymers. In light of these new demands, provincial and federal policy and science experts are examining the range of potential forest biomass utilization opportunities in terms of their long-term implications for sustainability, role in an emerging bioeconomy, and the possible influences of, for example, a changing climate and technological advances. Current research and broad-scale monitoring projects are helping to answer several important questions in the ecological, economic, policy, resource supply, and technological realms, while new questions must be continually addressed. In this paper, we describe the legislative, policy, and administrative context in which the sustainable biofibre industry may exist. We argue that social, economic, and environmental goals for a sustainable forest biofibre industry in Ontario can best be achieved by adhering to the principles of adaptive management. Market forces and third-party certification, which can influence the biofibre sector, are also discussed.