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2009 June 05

Bioenergy key to Canadian forestry industry's revival

David Landes
Forestry company executives in Canada are hoping bioenergy can help the industry survive a current global slump.

"In these tough times that we have, this industry [bioenergy] is one sliver of daylight," BC Bioenergy Network head Michael Weedon told CBC News.

"This is one of the few sectors that actually is alive with activity."

Weedon’s comments came in conjunction with a major forest and paper industry conference held in Vancouver in mid-May which showcased a number of themes traditionally championed by an environmental movement that has not always seen eye-to-eye with the forestry industry.

But bioenergy advocates believe converting byproducts from Canada’s vast forest resources into fuel may help revive the country’s forestry industry, which has shed 50,000 jobs and closed 250 mills in the last two years.

Globally, the forestry industry has been declining since 2003, with the recent economic downturn turning the modest $14 billion profits in 2007 to an $8 billion loss in 2008, according to the CBC.

Read the full story here.