Projects

Current projects

Aboriginal Business Collaboration (ABC) in Forestry

This research focuses on how Aboriginal communities can identify the goals they want to achieve through the economic development of forest resources and what steps are required to successfully take advantage of the opportunities those communities face. A fundamental objective of the project is to understand how the social, environmental, and economic characteristics of Aboriginal communities affect their engagement and success in economic development of forest resources. At the community level, the outcomes of this research are a process by which Aboriginal communities can assess their institutional and individual capacities, and what they need to do in order to create conditions that will enable them to achieve their goals.

The specific objectives of the research project are to:
1) Implement and describe, for four First Nations (FN), a collective process of visioning and planning economic development of forest resources (i.e. two-day workshop);
2) Adapt and evaluate the “Governance Analysis for Native Nations” of the Native Nations Institute (NNI) in the Canadian context;
3) Identify the factors contributing and limiting their engagement in the forestry sector;
4) Evaluate if the two-day workshops increases the participants’ awareness of the resources and opportunities at hand and readiness to engage in business development opportunities; and
5) Synthesize and interpret the research data in order to generate a better understanding of Aboriginal approaches to economic development and how existing Capacity Frameworks may need to be modified to better incorporate Aboriginal perspectives.

This project launched in summer 2013 and will extend through 2016.

Past projects

Economic Instruments to Advance Adaptation in Natural Resource Management: Applications in Forestry

Supported by the Economics Working Group of the Adaptation Platform, Natural Resources Canada, this project identified economic instruments that could facilitate climate change adaptation in Canadian forestry, drawing on the extensive experience and efforts taken to date in British Columbia. Within the project, there were three main objectives:
1) Identify economic instruments currently in use around agriculture, forestry and land use;
2) Develop criteria to evaluate their potential for adaptation and application within forestry; and
3) use case studies to examine selected instruments to show how they can advance adaptation and propose where new instruments could be introduced and how they could be implemented.

The four types of economic instruments that were examined included financial instruments, behavioural instruments, informational instruments and governmental instruments. Financial instruments encompass market-based instruments (MBI) (e.g. taxes, subsidies) and risk-financing instruments (RFI), which are organized around sharing and transferring risks and losses prior to catastrophes.

The research project was organized around the following three important policy objectives of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO):
1) Reducing both the risk of forest fire and the negative impacts that follow from forest fire, especially around protecting communities and infrastructure.
2) Ensuring forest health, both in the short-term by protecting against forest pests and disease, and in the longer-term by minimizing maladaptation.
3) Promoting forest resiliency that will minimize potential vulnerability to the impact of climate change.

Click here for the Final report: Economic Instruments for Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry.

This project began in October 2013 and continued through December 2014.

San Jose Watershed Regional Adaptation Collaborative

The San Jose Watershed Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) explored how climate change could affect local forest resources and the resulting impacts on the flow of services and values from those forests on timber supply and water quality and quantity. The focus was on working with local decision-makers and practitioners to better understand what kind of outcomes might be expected given different climate change scenarios and under existing and alternative management strategies and to use that understanding to help inform planning processes and the identification of management options that will contribute to the long-run sustainability of these resources.

The project was designed using the San Jose River watershed as a study area. The San Jose River is the primary supplier of water to the aquifer from which the City of Williams Lake draws its water supply. Using the best understanding available of how climate change might affect forest resources, the research team modelled the cumulative impacts of climate change on forest dynamics and watershed hydrology to evaluate the effectiveness of forest management options in maintaining forest cover and water supply under changing conditions. This two and a half-year project was funded under Natural Resource Canada’s Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) program and a key part of this program was working with local decision-makers such as the City of Williams Lake, the Regional District, local First Nations, regional staff from the Ministry of Forests and Range and the Ministry of Environment, forest licensees and others with a stake in these outcomes to identify key watershed values and local vulnerabilities as well as different watershed and forest management options.

The Kamloops Future Forest Strategy II (K2)

K2 followed from the Kamloops Future Forest Strategy (K1), undertaken by the Kamloops TSA steering committee and a group of consultants led by Ken Zielke and Bryce Bancroft of Symmetree Consulting Group. This strategy provided suggested actions to address climate derived ecological and management sensitivities for the Kamloops TSA. Interpretation of modelling results for two climate change scenarios provided a framework that allowed expert opinion to identify issues and possible management actions to address plausible futures.

The Kamloops Future Forest Strategy II built on the adaptive actions recommended in K1 by utilizing process-based computer models to answer specific species, stand and landscape level questions that could not be answered in K1. While K1 used climate envelope mapping to facilitate dialogue on ecosystem and management vulnerabilities to climate change, K2 stepped beyond this framework and used stand and landscape level models that directly incorporated changes in climatic conditions along with the effect of management actions to simulate outcomes under different climate change scenarios. These outcomes were used to test assumptions and explore potential management actions.

K2 involved a team of specialists including consulting foresters and experts originally involved in K1 as well as experts and modelers from UBC, UNBC and the Saskatchewan Research Council. Their expertise spanned climate science, economics, the impacts of climate change on stand dynamics, tree regeneration and ecosystem productivity and modelling of complex interactions and processes. Modellers employed a set of modelling tools to help the local clients create more robust, credible and useful recommendations for the TSA.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Forestry
2424 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2727
Email:
Harry Nelson
4609 - 2424 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: (604) 827-3478
Email:

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