Natural Resources Climate Change Mitigation

British Columbia has vast forests that can be used to help fight climate change. Trees are able to absorb and store carbon as they grow, affecting atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are causing B.C.’s climate to change.

Forests can be either carbon sources or carbon sinks. A carbon source releases more carbon into the atmosphere than it absorbs. A carbon sink absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.

British Columbians seek many different socioeconomic and ecological values from their forests, including timber production, biodiversity and water. A portfolio of forest carbon management approaches is best suited to address the diverse forest ecosystems and community needs across the province. The full suite of potential options needs to be considered while maintaining or enhancing values.

Forest Carbon Strategy

The provincial forest carbon strategy outlines current and planned initiatives to manage forest carbon and improve the sustainability of forests, communities and industry while mitigating the effects of climate change:

Forest carbon management strategies to increase carbon sinks or reduce emissions fall into six broad categories:

  1. Increase or maintain forest area
  2. Increase stand-level carbon density
  3. Reduce emissions associated with forestry operations
  4. Increase landscape-level carbon density
  5. Increase the proportion of harvested wood used for long-lived products
  6. Creating forests that are more resilient to changes in
    • Climate suitability
    • Pathogens
    • Invasive species
    • Drought
    • Wildfire

B.C. economists, research scientists, professional foresters and climate change policy experts are actively pursuing ways to actively manage forest and land carbon to benefit our forests and the climate. This work applies to all regions of the province, and actively integrates with work undertaken in government and industry.