Forestry Conference hosted by NORDIK Institute & Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership

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lumberTHUNDER BAY – The NORDIK Institute and the Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership (NOSCP)are hosting the first ever interdisciplinary conference to advance community-based forest management (CBFM) as a model for collaborative decision-making in Canada and to spearhead the formation of a pan-Canadian CBFM network of research, practice and knowledge mobilization. The conference takes place January 16-18, 2013 at the Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

The conference welcomes CBFM practitioners and researchers, students, environmental NGOs, First Nations and Métis, unions, forest industry and government representatives, and the general public with an interest in CBFM. The main conference will include formal presentations and interactive discussions, including a “talking circle” to share experiences about CBFM.

Several high profile speakers (who are available for interviews) will share their knowledge about CBFM. On January 17, Dr. Jesse Ribot, a leading expert on democratic decentralization of natural resource management from the University of Illinois, is the keynote speaker. That same day two prominent Canadian economists, Dr. David Robinson of Laurentian University and Dr. Shashi Kant with University of Toronto, will examine CBFM as a strategy for development. Sara Teitelbaum, a post-doctoral fellow editing a forthcoming book on community forestry in Canada, will provide an overview of community forestry in Canada. Other speakers will focus on community forestry in different parts of Canada: Susan Mulkey and Erik Leslie will look at lessons from British Columbia and Jean Arnold of the Falls Brook Centre will share perspectives from New Brunswick. Dr. Evelyn Pinkerton of Simon Fraser University will look at municipal governance structures in community forestry projects in BC.

On January 18, three First Nation representatives—Archie Stocker of the Haida Nation in BC, Geoff Quaile who is a member of the Cree-Quebec Forestry Board and Chief Kim Rainville of the Missinabie Cree First Nation—will describe their involvement in CBFM initiatives. Delegates will also hear about recent developments in Ontario forest tenure reform from an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources representative and Clara Lauziere of the Northeast Superior Forest Community who has been part of the Community Working Group involved in tenure reform discussions. A key part of this day’s proceedings is a “Talking Circle” which will draw on conference delegates to discuss supporting CBFM initiatives, influencing policy makers and building a Canadian research and practice network for CBFM.

At the banquet on January 17 (at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre), Melvin Cruz will share his experiences with the Madera Verde Green Wood Foundation in Honduras, a partner in the Atlántida Model Forest and a member of the International Model Forest Network, focussing on building networks to support community forestry.

On January 16, there will be a book launch for a new book by Ryan Bullock and Kevin Hanna, Community Forestry: Local Values, Conflict and Forest Governance (Cambridge University Press).

The organizers look forward to positive outcomes from the conference, including a stronger awareness about the potential of community forestry to foster sustainable northern development, support for current CBFM initiatives across Canada and the establishment of a pan-Canadian community forest network.

Sponsors: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Northern Ontario Sustainable Communities Partnership, Algoma University NORDIK Institute, Lakehead University Faculty of Natural Resources Management, True North Community Cooperative, Canadian Model Forest Network/Northeast Superior Forest Community, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie and Area.

Conference Partners: B.C. Community Forest Association, Canadian Environmental Network, Northwatch, Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs Forum, the Towns of Atikokan and Nipigon, Hearst Economic Development Corporation, University of Saskatchewan School of Environment and Sustainability, Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Livestreaming of the main conference Jan. 17-18 will be available at: https://algomau.webex.com

Conference details and registration information are available on the NOSCP website:  http://noscp.ca/

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