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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of socio-economic contributions from the primary forestry sector using material flow analyses Li, Yu


The competitiveness of the global primary forest products industry has been declining consistently compared with many other industrial sectors. This dissertation’s goal was to evaluate the performance of primary forestry sector in Canada and use wood utilization and allocation as means to improve the sector’s socio-economic outcomes. To achieve this goal, material flow analyses was used as the fundamental methodology to quantify a series of unit input employment and value added indicators to characterize the forestry sector value chains and evaluate socio-economic contributions. The substantial increase in the international trade of forest products required that trade data should be accounted for when quantifying socio-economic outcomes from national forestry sectors. A parameter termed the Apparent Industrial Input (AII) was developed to measure the wood fibre input at various stages of national primary value chains accounting for the international trade of various forest products. Normalized value added, GDP and employment indicators based on these trade-adjusted fibre inputs were employed to evaluate the comparative performance of Canada and fourteen other countries’ forestry sectors at various stages of the value chain. A primary forestry sector maturation pattern was observed as a nation’s commercial forestry sector developed. Nations that created more value per fibre input generally possessed a proportionately smaller forestry and logging subsector and a larger manufacturing subsector. A comparative study between Canada and United States of America (USA) showed that Canada historically had a larger proportional forestry and logging value added and a smaller proportional manufacturing subsector value added than the USA. It was inferred that Canada would achieve lower economic outcomes per input. Material flow analyses were completed for British Columbia’s (BC) primary forestry value chain and an integrated forestry company in BC. Both studies revealed the importance of by-products’ role in linking the wood products manufacturing and pulp and paper manufacturing subsectors. Two optimized scenarios revealed that by reallocating fibre flows, value added per unit of input for BC’s primary forestry sector could be increased by up to 35.4% compared to the base case. The enterprise level study also showed that material flow adjustment could increase the unit input value added.

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