The New Brunswick RRA assesses each indicator following the requirements of SBP Framework Standard 1: Feedstock Compliance Standard for the province of New Brunswick. Where there is a high probability that an indicator is being met, it is assessed as “low risk”. Where there is a reasonable likelihood that an indicator is not being met, or there is insufficient information available to assess the risk, then the indicator is assessed as “specified risk” – precautionary approach. A Biomass Producer that has the potential of sourcing biomass where one or more indicators have been identified as “specified risk” must undertake mitigation measures to reduce the risk of non-conformance to acceptable levels. In total there are thirty-eight (38) individual indicators ranging from legality of ownership and land use to health and safety of workers. These indicators are standard globally and were developed by Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP).
The scope of the New Brunswick RRA process is fibre sourced from uncertified forested land-bases found in the province. Once the New Brunswick RRA is approved by SBP, the need for individual Biomass Producers to conduct risk assessments is avoided and there is consistency between Biomass Producers in the same region.
The Risk Assessment
Ownership and Distribution of Forest Land
Forests cover more than 6 million hectares of New Brunswick’s 7 million hectares of land. Private ownership of forest lands in New Brunswick is significant, with private woodlots accounting for approximately 30% of the managed forest land base and industrial freehold ownership accounting for 18%. Forests managed on provincial crown land account for approximately 50% of the forest land base. The Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) New Brunswick includes all forest land in the Province.