The role of sustainable forestry in UN Sustainable Development Goals

By: Siqi Chen

Specialist, FII China

On May 26, Travis Joern, Director of Corporate Communications & Government Relations at FII China, participated in an online panel discussion held by the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) China. This session, titled “Sustain Life on Land: Forest, Ground and Animals,” is part of an event series on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with this session focused on SDG 15: Life on Land.

In his keynote speech, Travis gave a comprehensive overview of sustainable forestry and innovation in forest products. He introduced B.C.’s approach to sustainable forest management and debunked some myths about harvesting and deforestation. To mitigate the increasing impact of climate change, the use of nature-based solutions with a portfolio approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be important. This includes reforestation, road rehabilitation, tree improvement and the effective utilization of fiber in areas where it can help to reduce the carbon footprint of industrial sectors such as construction.

Through the combined efforts of Natural Resources Canada, the B.C. provincial government and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PCIS), forest carbon management programs are being developed to increase the forestry sector’s carbon sink and storage potential through strategies that are responsive to climate change projections. This project demonstrates the greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities to substitute long-lived timber products for emission-intensive steel, concrete or plastics. This shows how the use of wood and mass timber are an important part of sustainable forestry, with the possibilities for wood products to reduce carbon in the construction sector. After sharing some insights and best practices learned from sustainable forestry programs in Canada, Travis introduced the programs that FII and Canada Wood run in China, highlighting opportunities for wood construction to contribute to the carbon neutrality goals.

Another keynote speech was delivered by WWF China on the Conservation Efforts and Challenges in Saving the Wild Amur Tiger in China. During the discussion moderated by Robert Hansor, Director of Climate & Sustainability at Deloitte, panelists shared insights on sustainable business practices and nature management. The event helped to raise the profile of FII China at a multilateral event with international stakeholders in the conservation and environmental sectors, reinforcing the role of sustainably managed forests and innovations in forest products as a solution for Sustainable Development Goals.