Community resiliency: Contribution from the forest resources sector

W. W. (Bill) Bourgeois

Abstract


Forest-dependent communities in British Columbia are facing a crisis brought about by uncertainty surrounding their future economic viability. For over 45 years, the provincial government has successfully applied the same forest sector model, but it has shown signs of faltering in the last 15 years due to changes involving policies, investors in forest companies, and constraints imposed through the Canada-US Softwood Lumber Agreement. The combination of these influences has resulted in serious deterioration of the connection between the forest companies and forest-dependent communities, thereby affecting the sustainability of these communities. The resiliency of forest-dependent communities (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) is critical in this province and depends on a holistic application of environmental, health and wellness, economic, and human capital within the community to create wealth and productivity. The evolving forest sector must contribute to achieving this goal.
As a community struggles with an uncertain future and tough economic times, it requires deployment of its resources in an efficient and effective manner. This is best realized through a strategic approach that begins with identifying a vision and goals for community resiliency. Once this groundwork is established, a strategic plan will help to focus available resources on appropriate actions to achieve resiliency.

Keywords


community resiliency; forest sector; holistic approach;W.W. (Bill) Bourgeois

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