China moves to stop illegal logging trade

Beijing shifts toward sustainable lumber certification

Zhang Yanhong

One of a series of articles on the future of the B.C. forest industry. For more #BCForestFuture stories see index below or search for the hashtag on Facebook or Twitter.

BEIJING – The Chinese government is moving to sustainable forest certification of wood products, both harvested at home and imported from other countries, officials told a conference on illegal logging in the capital this week.

That includes a crackdown on countries that don’t have the will or ability to regulate rampant unregulated logging, said Fu Jinquan of China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA). China has sealed its borders against log imports from Myanmar [Burma], and is moving toward forest certification for other exporting countries.

China’s direction was discussed at a forum on illegal logging and forest trade co-sponsored by China and Canada, including B.C. Forests Minister Steve Thomson and representatives from the Canadian Forest Service.

Thomson and B.C. deputy forests minister Tim Sheldan described B.C.’s multiple international certification programs for forest products and its independent Forest Practices Board, which audits logging for wildlife protection, harvest level and replanting.

Construction of Brock Commons, an 18-floor student residence at UBC using prefabricated wood panels produced by Penticton-based Structurlam. FPInnovations photo

Representatives of the Canadian forest industry also described the benefits of wood construction on the environment, as the Chinese government moves to impose greenhouse gas and pollution targets on its smog-choked major cities.

Zhu Guangquian, chairman of China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association, described the impact of concrete and steel construction on China’s vast urban development program. At the current pace of development, China uses as much concrete in two years as the United States does in a century, he said.

“If we don’t develop timber resources now, we will owe a big debt to the future,” Zhu said.

The Dec, 2 conference marked the first time China had invited non-government participation, with representatives of the China offices of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund among those attending.

Wang Lei of WWF China asked about the potential for wooden high-rise construction in addition to mid- and low-rise buildings such as schools and retirement homes already planned by the Chinese government.

Rick Jeffery, CEO of the Coast Forest Products Association, describe the 18-storey student residence recently completed at the University of B.C.. currently the tallest wood-constructed building in the world.

Construction costs are competitive with concrete and steel, operating costs are lower and wood construction captures carbon while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building process, Jeffery said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read