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Government program targets forest sector


July 10, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A new program launched by the Federal government is expected to help forest communities create stable economies.

A new program launched by the Federal government is expected to help forest communities create stable economies.

The Forest Communities Program, announced by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, is intended to help forest communities develop stable local economies as they deal with the impacts of economic challenges facing Canadas forest sector.

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Weve learned from experience that the best solutions are often those developed by the local community, said Minister MacKay. The Forest Communities Program is designed to foster collaborative community efforts to help communities take advantage of new economic opportunities from forest resources.

The new, $25 million five-year program will fund 11 FCP sites across Canada. Each year, the funding will support community-level partnerships and national partnership activities and operations. Natural Resources Canada will negotiate funding terms and conditions with the 11 successful FCP applicants.

The program is based on the successes of Canadas Model Forest Program, which began in 1992 and ends this year. The FCP will encourage the development of knowledge, information tools and best practices to help forest communities meet the challenges of transition in the forest sector. The program will additionally help communities to capitalize on emerging resource-based economic opportunities. The FCP will foster new approaches to accommodate competing land uses, establish demonstration projects for innovative forest management approaches and create community ventures based on new types of forest products. These solutions will be shared with other forest communities across Canada and internationally through the Canadian Model Forest Network, the International Model Forest Network and similar organizations.


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