UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Canada’s Green Gold: Unveiling Challenges, Opportunities, and Pathways for Sustainable Forestry Offsets Pan, Chunyu; Li, Chong; An, Alexander; Deng, George; Lin, Jerry KuiJie; He, Junran; Li, Jonelle Fangyu; Zhu, Xilai; Zhou, Guomo; Shrestha, Anil K.; et al.

Abstract

Forestry offsets, recognized for their diverse environmental and social co-benefits, are gaining a growing interest as nature-based solutions to combat climate change. Despite Canada’s extensive forest resources, its potential for carbon credit remains largely untapped. This study aims to unveil the prevailing challenges in developing forestry offsets in Canada and propose potential solutions, drawing on insights from in-depth semi-structured interviews (SSIs) with 23 experts in the field. A qualitative thematic analysis highlighted 14 challenges under four major frequently discussed themes: methodological (37%), social (29%), economic (22%), and implementation challenges (12%). Our findings highlighted the urgency of addressing key obstacles, including the impermanent nature of forestry carbon offsets, substantial public knowledge gaps, uncertainties in the cost-effectiveness impacting financial viability, and the need for enhanced capacity for project implementation. Building on the discussions on the identified challenges, this study further presented a comprehensive analysis of the future directions for Canada, emphasizing the importance of addressing key methodological issues, enhancing public and Indigenous education and engagement, and leveraging advanced technologies and innovative approaches like ton-year accounting for economic viability. This paper delivers pivotal insights that have the potential to shape the direction and integrity of the forestry offset markets in both Canada and globally.

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CC BY 4.0