Ontario announces $20m Forest Biomass Program
The application-based programme will aim to help develop untapped potential and environmental benefits offered by new and emerging uses of forest biomass.
The programme has been created based on feedback from the public, Indigenous communities and industry stakeholders, who all indicated the need for targeted support to further develop Ontario’s forest bioeconomy, according to the Government of Ontario.
The Forest Biomass Program will also support projects to harvest more wood from Crown forests, increase forest sector job creation and regional economic growth and find new uses for wood.
It includes four streams designed to position Ontario as a leader in innovative uses of forest biomass:
- Indigenous Bioeconomy Partnerships, to increase Indigenous participation in forest biomass opportunities and their economic benefits;
- Exploring Biomass Pathways, to help the public and private sector research technical, financial and scientific aspects of using forest biomass;
- Innovative Bioproduct Manufacturing, to increase the use of forest biomass in manufacturing, infrastructure, energy services and resource extraction;
- Modernisation, to support forest sector transformation, competitiveness and participation through use of forest biomass.
The programme will be open to applications from businesses, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organisations early this summer. The organisations must be located in Ontario, and have a project to expand the use of forest biomass and enhance the forest biomass supply chain.
“This is good news for Ontario’s forestry industry, workers, communities and the environment,” said Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Our government’s Forest Biomass Program will help create jobs, build local prosperity and enhance the sustainable practices essential to forest product operations.”
“The Forest Biomass Program will result in a stronger forestry sector,” said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “The forestry industry is a major driver of the economy in Northwestern Ontario and plays a critical role in building Ontario. I am confident this programme will enhance existing use of resources, promote research, and increase Indigenous economic prosperity across the region.”