Not actually a truck from B.C., but hey, they all look pretty similar. Photo: Flickr, CC
Well, a Win is a Win
The government of British Columbia is introducing a new anti-deforestation piece of legislation, and at first glance it's very interesting, but sadly, it has an exception about as big as the province. The goal of the Zero Net Deforestation Act is that "an equal area of trees will be planted as is cleared from forest land for other uses." But this doesn't include trees cut for timber harvesting, because "deforestation" is defined as being only the "permanent" loss of trees in an area (for commercial development, for example).
As the BC's The Tyee reports,
It does not, however, require trees to be planted on areas that are logged as part of the provincial forest industry. "Timber harvesting in B.C. is sustainably managed, and not considered to be deforestation," says the government's announcement of the bill.
While it is debatable whether all logging in BC is "sustainable" (that's a whole other article), it's too bad that this legislation didn't include it, even if the rules had been different. The boreal forest is hugely important for both Canada and the planet, and anything that strengthens green forestry practices is welcome. Replanting trees is not the whole stories; What we need are vibrant forest ecosystems, not huge tree plantation monocultures that are vulnerable to pests, fires and diseases and are home to few species.
The act is part of the B.C. government's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, and defines deforestation as the permanent loss of trees from a given area.
Bell said the government hopes the newly created forest land will be equal or greater to what's been lost by 2015.
See also: British Columbia Introduces Smart Carbon Tax
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