China moves to stop illegal logging trade

Beijing shifts toward sustainable lumber certification

Zhang Yanhong

One of a series of articles on the future of the B.C. forest industry. For more #BCForestFuture stories see index below or search for the hashtag on Facebook or Twitter.

BEIJING – The Chinese government is moving to sustainable forest certification of wood products, both harvested at home and imported from other countries, officials told a conference on illegal logging in the capital this week.

That includes a crackdown on countries that don’t have the will or ability to regulate rampant unregulated logging, said Fu Jinquan of China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA). China has sealed its borders against log imports from Myanmar [Burma], and is moving toward forest certification for other exporting countries.

China’s direction was discussed at a forum on illegal logging and forest trade co-sponsored by China and Canada, including B.C. Forests Minister Steve Thomson and representatives from the Canadian Forest Service.

Thomson and B.C. deputy forests minister Tim Sheldan described B.C.’s multiple international certification programs for forest products and its independent Forest Practices Board, which audits logging for wildlife protection, harvest level and replanting.

Construction of Brock Commons, an 18-floor student residence at UBC using prefabricated wood panels produced by Penticton-based Structurlam. FPInnovations photo

Representatives of the Canadian forest industry also described the benefits of wood construction on the environment, as the Chinese government moves to impose greenhouse gas and pollution targets on its smog-choked major cities.

Zhu Guangquian, chairman of China Timber and Wood Products Distribution Association, described the impact of concrete and steel construction on China’s vast urban development program. At the current pace of development, China uses as much concrete in two years as the United States does in a century, he said.

“If we don’t develop timber resources now, we will owe a big debt to the future,” Zhu said.

The Dec, 2 conference marked the first time China had invited non-government participation, with representatives of the China offices of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund among those attending.

Wang Lei of WWF China asked about the potential for wooden high-rise construction in addition to mid- and low-rise buildings such as schools and retirement homes already planned by the Chinese government.

Rick Jeffery, CEO of the Coast Forest Products Association, describe the 18-storey student residence recently completed at the University of B.C.. currently the tallest wood-constructed building in the world.

Construction costs are competitive with concrete and steel, operating costs are lower and wood construction captures carbon while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building process, Jeffery said.

Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Two Surrey volleyballers set to play for Team Canada

Brianna Beamish and Kiera Van Ryk in Japan for FIVB World Championships

Surrey school trustees want to see reliance on portables reduced by 50% in five years

Board votes unanimously to request a meeting with Minister of Education

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Most Read