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Canada’s New Government helping forest communities build stable economies


GREEN HILL, N.S. - Solving local challenges can lead to global solutions. That’s the idea behind a new Forest Communities Program (FCP), announced today by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. The FCP is intended to help forest communities develop stable local economies as they deal with the impacts of economic challenges facing Canada’s forest sector.

“We’ve learned from experience that the best solutions are often those developed by the local community,” said Minister MacKay. “The Forest Communities Program is designed to foster collaborative community efforts to help communities take advantage of new economic opportunities from forest resources.”

The new, $25-million, five-year program will fund 11 FCP sites across Canada. Each year, the funding will support community-level partnerships and national partnership activities and operations. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) will negotiate funding terms and conditions with the 11 successful FCP applicants.

The FCP is based on the successes of Canada’s Model Forest Program, which began in 1992 and ends this year. The FCP will encourage the development of knowledge, information tools and best practices to help forest communities meet the challenges of transition in the forest sector. The program will help communities to capitalize on emerging resource-based economic opportunities. The FCP will foster new approaches to accommodate competing land uses, establish demonstration projects for innovative forest management approaches and create community ventures based on new types of forest products. These solutions will be shared with other forest communities across Canada and internationally through the Canadian Model Forest Network, the International Model Forest Network and similar organizations.

The FCP advances the commitment of Canada’s New Government to developing knowledge, innovation and productivity in the natural resources sector and elsewhere - giving Canadians the advantage to succeed.

A list of successful FCP applicants appears in the Proposed Forest Communities Program Sites backgrounder.


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