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Environmental conscience could pay off for forestry

[Canada] It’s an attitude adjustment. That’s what professional foresters from all over Vancouver Island heard Wednesday morning during a workshop on environment-based management, a new philosophy driving coastal logging operations. Always evolving, it’s more of a way of doing business than a business goal, and it’s being developed with the help of First Nations and environmental groups, who are finally beginning to make peace with the logging industry after years of struggle. But while it’s about changing forestry practices to be more environmentally friendly, environment-based management (EBM) is still about the most important thing in business – profits. “This isn’t about companies and environmental groups…it’s about customers,” said Patrick Armstrong, spokesperson for the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative, at the introduction to the workshop. “Customers really don’t want conflict attached to their products…and you don’t have a business if you don’t have a customer.” Plus, he added, the new approach can give B.C. an edge in a world market where it’s getting tougher to compete with cheap exports from countries such as Russia. B.C. wood needs an advantage over cheaper products, he said, suggesting customers want to buy wood that has been harvested in way that’s sensitive to the environment and benefits the communities where it’s harvested.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes, May 5, 2006
www.southernsustainableforests.org

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