Forest products make up about half of British Columbia’s exports. B.C. timber is sold in the international marketplace and international trade laws govern these sales in part.

As the provincial government manages B.C.’s publicly owned timber, it is important to ensure that it gets the best possible price for this resource on behalf of the citizens of B.C. To meet this goal, B.C. Timber Sales, an independent organization within the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, works to establish fair market prices for B.C. timber.

North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico was drafted because of the significance of exports and trade between these three nations. Although there is criticism of this agreement and how beneficial it has been for Canada, the agreement is intended to make it easier for Canada and its trading partners to trade goods, such as forest products.

World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) governs trade between C Read More
Forest products make up about half of British Columbia’s exports. B.C. timber is sold in the international marketplace and international trade laws govern these sales in part.

As the provincial government manages B.C.’s publicly owned timber, it is important to ensure that it gets the best possible price for this resource on behalf of the citizens of B.C. To meet this goal, B.C. Timber Sales, an independent organization within the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, works to establish fair market prices for B.C. timber.

North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico was drafted because of the significance of exports and trade between these three nations. Although there is criticism of this agreement and how beneficial it has been for Canada, the agreement is intended to make it easier for Canada and its trading partners to trade goods, such as forest products.

World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization (WTO) governs trade between Canada and its other 148 members. Because Canada is a member of the WTO, this increases Canada’s exposure to global markets. Nationally, a quarter of Canadian jobs are linked to exports. Exports contribute to about 40% of Canada’s economy. The WTO provides an environment for Canada and other nations to negotiate trade, review policies and settle disputes. Although negotiations for the trade of Canada’s goods take place in an international forum, Canada’s trade policies are still developed in Canada by Canadians. International relationships such as these add to the complexities of the B.C. timber market.

© 2006, British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre. All Rights Reserved.

Method:
Students research questions to prepare for a classroom guest speaker and generate discussion.

Procedure:
Arrange to have one or more guest speakers, who currently work or used to work in some aspect of the forest industry, come to speak to your students. If it is not possible to have someone come in person, it may be possible to arrange a time for a guest to talk to the class by speaker phone.

Give students preparation time to, individually or in groups, research the individual and/or their area of expertise.

Students ask the guest speaker questions based on their research.

After the guest speaker’s presentation, students are asked to note any new information that the speaker revealed that was not discovered by their research. Ask students to summarize the speaker’s point of view.

There are many aspects of the forest industry that are continually and intensely debated.
As a class, or in small groups, discuss any differences in opinion that the presentation may have revealed.

Read More
Method:
Students research questions to prepare for a classroom guest speaker and generate discussion.

Procedure:
Arrange to have one or more guest speakers, who currently work or used to work in some aspect of the forest industry, come to speak to your students. If it is not possible to have someone come in person, it may be possible to arrange a time for a guest to talk to the class by speaker phone.

Give students preparation time to, individually or in groups, research the individual and/or their area of expertise.

Students ask the guest speaker questions based on their research.

After the guest speaker’s presentation, students are asked to note any new information that the speaker revealed that was not discovered by their research. Ask students to summarize the speaker’s point of view.

There are many aspects of the forest industry that are continually and intensely debated.
As a class, or in small groups, discuss any differences in opinion that the presentation may have revealed.

Assessment:
- Assess student questions for:
relevancy
- depth of research

Assess class discussion for:
- understanding of issues
- willingness to allow for other points of view

© 2006, British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre. All Rights Reserved.

BC sells its wood products into a global marketplace

BC sells its wood products into a global marketplace, and that's certainly more true now than it was even a decade ago. The people who are buying our solid wood products or our pulp and paper, also have the option of buying them from new Zealand, or from South America, or from Southeast Asia. One of the things that people are increasingly looking to for the wood they buy is some indication that it was produced using sustainable forestry practices. Most of the certification schemes out there are designed to show that forest management operations are being sustainably managed. So most of the large forest companies in British Columbia are engaged in various different certification initiatives. And there are lots of different certification initiatives worldwide. Most of them have websites, and this would be a fun project for students to look at the different certifications systems and compare them. In British Columbia, people use SFI, the "Sustainable Forestry Initiative", the Canadian Standards Association ISO certification, and the Forest Stewardship Counsel -- which is the one that the environmental, non-government organizations, or the environmental NGOs favour. So there are these different certification schemes out there. Different companies are certified by different schemes. A lot of the larger companies are certified by more than one different certification scheme. I think it's very helpful -- and the companies obviously do, as they choose to be certified. It helps them sell their products into a global market. I think it's very helpful for the companies to take the time and have to demonstrate, through all of the different components of the certification scheme, that they are practicing sustainable forest management. It's an interesting exercise because here sustainability is interpreted for most of these schemes in its most broad sense: that forest operations have to be socially and environmentally sustainable, as well as economically efficient, otherwise the companies wouldn't be operating in the first place. A lot of people think of sustainability primarily in environmental terms, but for the certification schemes, they all contain a component of social sustainability. The companies have to be able to demonstrate that they are operating with local communities and first nations, and they are considering the effects that their forest management practices and activities are having on local people. I think that social sustainability is a really interesting and really important part of the equation if these companies are going to continue to operate in our province.

British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre
British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre; Andy MacKinnon, BC Forest Service
c. 2000
British Columbia, CANADA
© 2006, British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

After using this object students will be able to:
- describe at least one global organization that is involved in governing the timber market

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