(Halifax, NS) Research Nova Scotia is partnering with the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust (FITT) to deliver a three-year forestry research program. This program will work to harness the creativity and expertise of Canada’s research community to support Nova Scotia’s transition to an ecological forestry model.

Forestry is a key industry for Nova Scotia, supporting thousands of jobs and forming part of the character and natural environment of communities across the province. Along with agriculture, fisheries and other resource-based sectors, forestry is significantly affected by a changing climate and the environmental pressures that result, such as new forest pests and diseases, soil erosion, and wildfires. Research is part of the solution: by working closely with forest experts to identify the gaps, researchers can help to improve understanding of climate models, address pests and other hazards, improve processes and innovations, evaluate the results of management practices over time, and explore areas of interest to forest managers, industry professionals, and communities alike.

“Supporting research is an important part of bringing the best practices from around the world to Nova Scotia, and telling the world about the innovative and effective solutions Nova Scotia’s forestry sector are developing every day,” says Rosalind Penfound, Chair, Forestry Innovation Transition Trust. “We are pleased to partner with Research Nova Scotia on a forestry research program that will help apply Nova Scotian capacity to meet the province’s sustainable forestry goals.”

In 2021, RNS developed its “Bringing Focus to Forestry” research agenda, which was presented to and accepted by FITT in November 2021. The agenda identified the research questions of greatest concern to the forestry sector, developed with input from more than 150 landowners, land managers, producers, policy makers, conservationists, and innovators throughout Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region. It also identified common barriers to pursuing and implementing research, and mechanisms to support research in a useable and beneficial way. This research agenda is now our guide for investing in research that will make a difference to Nova Scotia, by supporting an important sector for our economy and a valuable natural environment for our communities.

To deliver on this research plan, RNS and FITT have dedicated $5.38 million over the next three years to fund research that directly improves understanding of sustainable forestry in Nova Scotia. RNS is contributing $1.23 million in research investment, in addition to in-kind support and dedicated staff resources. To ensure effective delivery, RNS has engaged a Forestry Program Manager to develop and implement the research program on behalf of RNS and FITT.

“The forestry research program is one of the ways we’re investing in research that makes a difference to Nova Scotians,” says Stefan Leslie, CEO of Research Nova Scotia. “Forestry is a key sector for Nova Scotia, supporting thousands of jobs, families, and communities throughout the province. This investment will help to ensure that the people working with our forests every day have access to the latest and best available research, to help Nova Scotia’s forests and forestry industry thrive for generations to come.”

Review the Forestry Research Agenda.

For more information contact:

Stephanie Reid
Director, Marketing & Communications
Research Nova Scotia
Stephanie.Reid@researchns.ca | 902-223-9450

Quick Facts:

  • Research Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust, has developed a research agenda to bring greater focus to the role research can play in the forestry sector’s transition to a sustainable future.
  • The research program builds on Research Nova Scotia’s forestry research agenda work in 2021, which identified the knowledge gaps and opportunities facing the forestry sector as it adapts to a changing climate and transitions for the future.
  • The resulting research agenda, Bringing Focus to Forestry Research, identifies the concerns, considerations, and emerging prospects in Nova Scotia’s forests and those who make use of them, whether for production, conservation, management, or enjoyment.
  • Research Nova Scotia’s forestry research program will invest $4.93 million in research funding and capacity-building over three years in support of Nova Scotia’s forestry sector.   

About Forestry Innovation Transition Trust
Funding from the Forestry Innovation Transition Trust is available to companies, organizations and post-secondary institutions working and researching in the forestry and biological resources sectors. The trust was announced in February 2020. A 3-member trustee board will oversee spending decisions of a $50 million trust fund that will continue to advance the transition and development of Nova Scotia’s forestry sector.

The trustees are:

  • Rosalind Penfound – former vice president, Organizational Development at Nova Scotia Community College and former deputy minister of several provincial government departments
  • Douglas Hall – director of the advisory board of Southwest Properties, director of Stanfield’s and former managing director at RBC Capital Markets
  • David Saxton – retired partner from Grant Thornton LLP

About Research Nova Scotia
Research Nova Scotia (RNS) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation with the mandate to support, organize and co-ordinate the funding of research for the benefit of Nova Scotians. RNS works to identify knowledge gaps in government, industry, and communities, and to bring together research projects and initiatives that address Nova Scotia’s biggest challenges

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