Smurfit Kappa has provided 240,000 tonnes of excess soil to the ‘Park in the Past’ project, a local heritage and conservation project in Wales. The soil, which became available due to an expansion at its Mold facility, has been repurposed to create the foundation for an ambitious community development including an authentic Roman fort. In the last six months, the soil has been transferred from the Smurfit Kappa manufacturing facility to the nearby ‘Park in the Past’ development which is creating several new amenities including a Roman fort, children’s adventure area, sensory spaces and rare species pond at the site of a disused quarry in North East Wales. What’s more, the area from which the soil was removed has been transformed into a 3-acre nature trail containing a wide variety of wildflowers, as well as aquatic features for all types of wildlife. The new area, which is being used by both local residents and Smurfit Kappa Mold employees, will also have upwards of 10,000 trees and shrubs and a lagoon to support water drainage for a new property complex in the area.
BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) President and CEO Susan Yurkovich and Forest Products Association of Canada President and CEO Derek Nighbor issued a joint statement in response to the announcement today that the Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement for the Conservation of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou has been signed.
“The forest sector has long supported and participated in efforts to enhance caribou recovery and protection – working alongside partners to advance meaningful solutions, including actively supporting the Government of BC’s Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan and participating in population augmentation trials.
We will continue to work to enhance caribou habitat populations and believe the Section 11 Agreement delegation to the Province provides us with a greater range of tools to do this important work. However, we are deeply disappointed that the separate Partnership Agreement signed today permanently removes a significant amount of fibre from the timber harvesting land base and creates additional operational uncertainty.
This permanent removal further shrinks the working forest and will have negative impacts on forestry workers, communities and regional economies.
This comes at a time when the sector is facing major challenges that have resulted in thousands of workers in dozens of communities across the province being impacted. Governments must recognize that secure access to reasonably priced fibre is the single most important factor needed to ensure a vibrant forestry sector. This agreement further erodes the working forest land base – further harming an industry that is critically important to the provincial economy and communities across BC.
We remain fully committed to working with governments, First Nations, and community leaders in advancing caribou recovery and protection. However, advancing this work must be done collectively and must recognize the importance of preserving the working forest.”