Province Supports Forestry Action Plan

first_imgThe provincial government is investing $2.52 million through the Community Development Trust Fund to build a better future for Nova Scotia’s forests and economy. An action plan, based on recommendations from industry and government, will be implemented to continue supporting the forestry industry as it deals with changes in global market conditions. “Transportation programs, renewable energy sources, identifying labour needs, developing product markets and supporting woodlot certification programs are just some of the items in our action plan,” said Natural Resources Minister David Morse. “This initiative is another step in the right direction toward the province’s vision of a healthy economy and vibrant forests for many years to come.” Last year, the province announced a Forestry Transition Program to help the industry overcome challenges such as the high value of the Canadian dollar, energy prices, plummeting housing starts in the U.S., and other market conditions. The program has six elements, including a joint task force of select cabinet ministers and industry representatives to manage the transition program. The Forestry Joint Task Force explored additional measures that the province and industry might take to support the continued viability of the sector. Forty-five recommendations were brought forward and the action plan was developed. The plan will be supported by $2.52 million over the next three years from Nova Scotia’s Community Development Trust Fund. The fund is designed to help communities and workers that are experiencing economic hardship. The funding builds on the support government has already given through the Forestry Transition Program. It meets the strategic investment priorities of the fund to enhance sustainable prosperity in the areas of economic and trade diversification, improved productivity, innovation and training. “Sustainable communities are vital to the future strength and prosperity of the province,” said Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac. “We must continue to make smart investments and seize opportunities to provide an environment for our forestry industry to remain both sustainable and competitive.” The forestry industry in Nova Scotia employs about 16,000 Nova Scotians and has export values of almost $800 million. “We appreciate the contributions of many qualified groups and individuals who have weighed in on the direction that our forestry industry should take,” said Mr. Morse. “Recommendations recently released by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council mirror the action plan we’re implementing in Nova Scotia, which reassures us that we’re on the right track.” All input will also be considered when the Department of Natural Resources moves into the second phase of its process to develop a new Natural Resources Strategy. The three-year process will result in new forest, biodiversity, parks and minerals strategies in 2010. For a summary of the Forestry Joint Task Force recommendations and action plan, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/forestry . More information on the Community Development Trust in Nova Scotia is available at www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cdtrust .last_img

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