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Ontario releases draft Forest Biomass Action Plan

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Ontario’s government has released a draft Forest Biomass Action Plan for public review and comment.

The plan examines innovative uses of forest biomass, mill by-products and other wood matter, with applications from heat and power generation to sustainable, low-carbon consumer products.

Developing the action plan is a key commitment of Sustainable Growth: Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy announced in August 2020. Following that announcement, the ministry convened a working group of more than 12 members from the forest biomass supply chain to develop a draft plan for public consultation.

The draft plan outlines five objectives: identifying pathways to markets for forest biomass; supporting demand for forest bioenergy and bioproducts; improving the business and regulatory environments for the use of forest biomass; supporting holistic, culturally relevant pathways for Indigenous community involvement in forest biomass value chains to support reconciliation between Indigenous communities and the Crown; communicating, collaborating, and informing on forest biomass opportunities.

“Expanding the use of forest biomass is essential to the competitiveness of the forest industry and will further assist in meeting an increased demand for dimensional lumber and other wood products,” said Ian Dunn, president and CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA).

“This plan will create jobs and promote sustainable economic development, which OFIA and its member companies are deeply committed to. OFIA is pleased to see the government continue to make progress on the goals set out in the Forest Sector Strategy.”