Forestry can be Ontario's Greatest Opportunity
By sustainably harvesting less than 0.5% of Ontario's managed public forests annually, Ontario's forest products sector supports over 143,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs in every region of the province, and generates $17.6 billion in revenues.
Demand for sustainably sourced forest products is at an all-time high and is expected to increase. The United Nations projects that global demand for forest products will grow by more than 30 percent by 2030. Ontario is well-positioned to meet this demand, particularly given the ambitious goals set out in Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy. To improve the competitiveness of our industry, OFIA and its member companies fully support, and are actively engaged, on the critical goals and objectives within the Strategy. This includes fully utilizing the annual allowable harvest, support for the Forest Access Roads Funding Program, increasing the use of forest biomass as a low-cost and environmentally friendly energy source, and ensuring free and open access to markets.
This presents an enormous economic development and environmental opportunity for Ontario. Forest products are a sustainable and renewable resource. Many governments, businesses, and financial institutions have committed to achieving net-zero emissions. The OFIA believes that the forest sector has an essential and positive role in achieving these broader societal goals. Using sustainable forest resources to displace materials and processes with more carbon intensity and environmental impact will accelerate a transition to net-zero emissions while supporting northern, rural, and Indigenous communities. Forest products, bioenergy, and forest management are economic development opportunities and climate solutions.