Dear Mayor and Council,
Do you think it is be a good idea to separate the Carbon Sales Feasibility portion of the Forestry Review into its own project and start it immediately?
The reason I bring this up is that the feasibility of carbon sales will have a huge effect on the OCP, Forestry Review and the Climate Change Reviews.
I attended the 3GreenTree Consulting (3GTC) presentation to the Forest Advisory Committee a couple of weeks ago, and if what they say is true, we have the opportunity to generate as much revenue protecting as logging the forest.
The 3GTC presentation talked about setting aside a section of the forest reserve for carbon sales and continuing to log the remaining areas. We have sections of our forest that we will never log - the bike trails, watersheds, visually and ecologically sensitive areas. These areas do not currently generate revenue - could they generate revenue if the were protected under a carbon credit program? Do carbon credits actually offer the chance to increase revenue?
3GTC has experience working with Municipalities like ours and seem confident that we would qualify for carbon sales. They presented numbers showing comparable revenue streams for carbon sales and logging.
Why is our forest so valuable in the carbon credit market?
We patch cut approx. 44 hectares (83 football fields) per year. For the last 6 years ending 2017, we burned an average of 87 slash piles per year.
3GTC argues that newly planted forests do not become effective carbon sinks for almost 20 years. Thus, our newly harvested forests are not nearly as effective as mature forests in sequestering carbon.
Logging slash burning is also a major source of carbon. In BC, logging slash burning makes up between 7 and 13% of total carbon released (BC Carbon Inventory 2013-17)
We learned from Science journal this week that forest restoration could be humanity’s single most important tool in fighting climate change. “The point is that [reforestation is] so much more vastly powerful than anyone ever expected,” said Thomas Crowther, a professor of environmental systems science at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the paper. “By far, it’s the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential"
This is why cities like Toronto are paying communities to plant trees
link to article discussing Science Journal findings
Given all this, shouldn't we do the carbon sales feasibility study immediately have its results available for OCP, Forest Review and Climate Change Review?
This could be a game-changer in how we manage the forest reserve, fight climate change and it opens up all kinds of interesting recreational opportunities.
Plus, it looks like the budget implications of a hybrid carbon sales and logging revenue stream might be minimal.