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Forest Carbon; Discussion Paper

The RSMIN consultation department is seeking input from the community on the following policy from the MNRF. The policy is being created to align goals with the Canadian Action Plan for Climate Change.

Forest Carbon Policy:

Ontario is committed to sustainable forest management to ensure long-term Crown forest health. The province also recognizes climate change as a legitimate and urgent problem requiring government action. Healthy forests play an important role in mitigating climate change impacts because they can absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it in wood. How Ontario’s Crown forests are managed can influence the amount of carbon stored in trees and wood products or released into the atmosphere. Specific forest management practices may reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while others may increase greenhouse gas removals from the atmosphere.

 

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) initiated the Forest Carbon Policy project to support Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy and goals for moving towards a low carbon economy. In Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, the Forest Carbon Policy project is identified as a key action.

The MNRF is exploring how Ontario’s managed Crown forests can best contribute to the government’s objective to fight climate change while continuing to contribute to the social, economic and environmental needs of current and future generations. This discussion paper provides information about forest carbon and sustainable forest management in a changing climate, presents goals and outcomes for the Forest Carbon Policy project and outlines two policy approaches for optimizing the amount of carbon that can be mitigated in Ontario’s managed Crown forests.

Through the discussion paper, MNRF is engaging in a dialogue about two potential forest carbon policy approaches to optimize the mitigation potential of managed Crown forests, while remaining consistent with the principles of sustainable forest management. Approaches could influence sustainable forest management operations occurring prior to transporting the wood to the mill gate, including access (e.g., roads and landings), harvesting (e.g., cutting and hauling), renewal (e.g., regeneration), tending, and protection (e.g., from insects, disease, and wildfire).

The two policy approaches under consideration include:

1) forest carbon management – a government-led approach that could use forest carbon policies to influence the amount of carbon stored in forests and in wood products.

2) forest carbon offset projects – a market-driven approach that would enable forest carbon offset projects on managed Crown forests.

Based on the results of consultation and further analyses, policy will be developed that optimizes climate change mitigation while balancing multiple forest objectives and values.

 

 

Purpose of Policy:

The purpose of the discussion paper is to explore forest carbon policy approaches and opportunities to optimize the mitigation of climate change and reduce GHG emissions through Ontario’s managed Crown forests.

Other Information:

“How Might Ontario’s Managed Crown Forests Mitigate Climate Change? Developing Forest Carbon Policy.” discussion paper is provided:

http://apps.mnr.gov.on.ca/public/files/er/mnrf-16-244-discussion-paper.pdf

Public Consultation:

This proposal has been posted for a 62 day public review and comment period starting November 22, 2016. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by January 23, 2017 to the individual listed under “Contact”. Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.

All comments received prior to January 23, 2017 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 012-8685.

Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. Comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.

Your personal information may be used in the decision making process on this proposal and it may be used to contact you if clarification of your comment is required. It may be shared (along with your comment) with other Ontario Ministries for use in the decision making process. Questions about this collection should be directed to the contact mentioned on the Proposal Notice page.

Other Public Consultation Opportunities:

Further engagement opportunities on the discussion paper will be available in fall/winter 2016/17 through information sessions to be scheduled in Thunder Bay, North Bay and Toronto. For more information please contact forestcarbon@ontario.ca.

If you would have any comments or concerns please contact Dean Whellan by phone at 807-623-4635 ext 200 or by email at Consultation@RSMIN.ca

 

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