Forestry in Canada
Forestry sector in Canada is growing with its innovation in new technology. Forestry industry is known for its resistance to large transformations (MegaFlorestais, 2017). A forum aimed for leaders within the forestry sector from countries with the most forested areas was continuously arranged. The most recent forum was organized in October 2017 in Canada. Sally Collins, who is the Co-Chair of the website called MegaFlorestais focusing on the public forestry industry’s leaders, attended the forum and noted her evaluations and perspectives via the blog on MegaFlorestais. Participants such as students from the University of British Columbia (UBC), FP Innovations (Canadian NPO), a representative from Brazil’s forest industry attended the forum. Together with FP Innovations, UBC students presented new innovations and technologies to be used to come up with solutions for solving difficult issues (i.e. monetary issues for forest monitoring). For the Brazilian representative, the idea was to help rural areas with technology to map boundaries for the properties.
Like many forests in the world, there are many types of conflicts in the province of British Columbia of Canada. Those who waged war with each other all had claims over forest: “corporations with government contracts to conduct logging; NGOs looking out for the greater public interest; indigenous tribes who had never ceded their territory; and the provincial government who claimed ownership and mediated conflicts” (MegaFlorestais, 2017).
Evaluation of the conflict
Different representatives, who were stakeholders coming from the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR), made up with the most successful group that resolve the conflict over rights of land and forest use, according to Collins. Wood use is one of the main issues that need to be solved and the management of forestry in British Columbia in the future should be improved. They shared their lessons learned at the conference and aimed for the global forestry sector (MegaFlorestais, 2017):
(1) “Assumptions about the interests and needs of other groups must be suspended. Judging intentions can result in further entrenchment and lead away from solutions.”
(2) “A forum that promotes real listening is essential to moving past these stereotypes. Each participant has to feel that every other participant is acting openly and honestly in the dialogue, with the intention of truly understanding one another. A “safe” environment for dialogue must be created. Only in this way can trust between participants be built. It cannot be commanded or directed—it must emerge from honest listening and dialogue.”
(3) “Key to all of this is for each party to share their vision for the future, because it is around a common vision that diverse parties and their independent interests can collectively rally. For example, a healthy forest into the future can provide jobs, protect the environment, protect basic rights, and create new opportunities for all parties.”
Excerpt from MegaFlorestais, 2017
As a result, from observing the successful conflict resolution conducted by the GBR, it can be concluded that such not-so-common or difficult-to-achieve conflict resolution can be taught great lessons to the world, as also suggested by Collins. Political aspects should not be separated from humanity. By treating those who are oppositionists with empathy and respect for their problems and challenges, and while regarding their issues from different perspectives and thinking deeply for example, then common understanding can be reached. This can be complex to resolve the conflict, as governance structures “are often more adept at responding to technical problems than building trust between communities and other stakeholders” (MegaFlorestais, 2017).
Keywords and identifiers of the conflict
Keywords: Forestry, conflict, woods, participation, future, management, rights
MegaFlorestais. 2017. ”Resolving conflict in the woods: What forest agency leaders can learn from Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest” by Sally Collins, MegaFlorestais Co-Chair. Retrieved on February 6, 2018, from <http://megaflorestais.org/2017/11/02/resolving-conflict-in-the-woods/>.