During the BCCI Strategic Planning workshop in July 2022, participants were encouraged to think about leverage points. The workshop report quotes Marshall Gant who said: “The art of organizing (leverage points) is the dynamic relationship between strategy and tactics, using the strategy to inform the tactics, and learning from the tactics to adapt strategy. One of the participants, Bernie Juurlink put forward the idea of focusing on forestry practices in BC. This idea has been proposed as an example of a “scholar activism” initiative for the year 2022-2023.
As a first step, a working group has been assembled, co-chaired by Bernie Juurlink and Vic Neufeld. As shown, this group has both university and community members. Recently a part-time Masters student from UBC Okanagan has joined. We have invited other colleagues to join and are awaiting their responses. We have also done a web-based survey to determine which BC universities have forestry-related academic (research and education) initiatives, and have had productive conversations with academic leaders at UVIC and UNBC. The Shawnigan Basin Society (SBS), in collaborations with BCCI organized a productive meeting with eight environment groups in the Cowichan Valley, on the theme: Sustaining Healthy Forests. This was the first of a series of three planned discussions on this theme. The next sessions are on Indigenous Perspectives and Youth engagement.
A draft work plan has three inter-related components:
- This includes the idea of a letter-writing campaign (not yet started) and supporting hub groups (such as the SBS—see above) in local advocacy and action initiatives.
- This will include identifying universities that have courses (or other learning materials and events) focused on forestry and facilitating the sharing of educational resources of various kinds.
- Katrina is also exploring the idea of featuring forestry as a case study in a global health course at UBC stay tuned on this idea!
- A literature review (including government documents and reports) is underway.
We have just drafted a research framework on questions such as:
- What forestry practices in BC, as currently or recently conducted by the forestry industry are harmful?
- What specific interventions could result in change—in practice and policies?
- What elements of an evaluation framework could address these questions, both in the short and long term?
Other questions are:
- What is the link between forestry practices and equity?
- What are some examples (case studies) of exemplary practices and policies?
We welcome comments and advice on the above, and in particular would welcome more participants to join the project.