Canada’s Forest Sector Promotes International Award for Innovation

The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) recently announced its biennial international Blue Sky Young Researchers Award contest to generate interest and raise awareness around innovations taking place in the world of forestry.

The ICFPA is an international group representing twenty-eight countries from around the world that liaises with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) on forest policy development and shares leading practices. It supports important dialogue across this global network to promote global forest policy commitments on sustainable forest management, recycling, innovation, water conservation, mitigating climate change, ensuring a safe and inclusive workplace, and optimizing the use of environmentally-friendly wood and paper-based products.

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is a member of the ICFPA and is hopeful that some of the great forestry innovation and young research talent here in Canada can be showcased in this global competition.

“Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management and innovation,” noted Derek Nighbor, President and CEO of FPAC. Nighbor is also serving a two-year term as President of the ICFPA. “Given FPAC’s current leadership role at ICFPA, we would love nothing more than to see some young Canadian forestry researchers make it to the top of the international podium,” said Nighbor.

The contest is an opportunity for forest sector researchers and professionals under the age of 30 to showcase how their game-changing ideas, practices, processes, and technologies are advancing the global bioeconomy while sustaining the natural environment. A Canadian winner will be selected and will have an opportunity to compete against other researchers from around the world. Three final winners will be selected globally and will have an opportunity to present their projects at the ICFPA’s CEO Global Roundtable tentatively scheduled for Northern Australia in April 2021.

“As the world moves to recover from the economic ravages of COVID-19, the international forest products community is looking for ways to inspire real solutions that support sustainable forest management, advance innovation, and spur the global economy,” said Nighbor. “We are thrilled to be supporting an international initiative that has the potential to highlight made-in-Canada research and solutions that can benefit the entire planet,” he added.

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