The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) is hosting its 2019 Wood Industry Forum this June with support from Economic Development Cowichan and other forest industry partners.
The forum is a follow-up to an event held in March 2018 at the Cottonwood Golf Club, where more than 100 industry representatives came together to discuss key challenges and opportunities in the forestry sector, including access to wood fibre on Vancouver Island.
Since 2018, the Province has placed new emphasis on wood fibre waste recovery and recently, VIEA received confirmation of funding from the BC Rural Dividend program to launch the Cowichan Wood Waste Recovery Pilot Program. The two-year pilot program aims to address the supply of wood fibre to key industries on Vancouver Island, support value-added forestry initiatives, increase the access to fibre to attract new investment and create new wealth generation partnerships, particularly with First Nations communities. As an added benefit, the project will improve community resilience by reducing the fire hazards associated with accumulations of waste wood on harvested forestry lands.
As a forerunner to the June event, Economic Development Cowichan co-hosted a May 28 meeting at the Cowichan Best Western, attended by forestry, local government and Khowutzun Forest Services. The meeting provided participants with an overview of VIEA’s work in the forest sector to date and profiled the opportunity for stakeholders to become involved in the 2019 Wood Industry Forum.
The forum takes place on June 20, 2019 at the Comeakin Building at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre, located at 200 Cowichan Way in Duncan. To register, visit http://viea.ca/initiatives/forestrywood-industries-initiative/