BC Bioenergy Network

BC Bioenergy Network
First Nations Energy and Mining Council

First Nations Energy and Mining Council
First Nations Forestry Council

First Nations Forestry Council

November 25, 2009 13:50 ET

BC Bioenergy Network Establishes a BC Bioenergy First Nations Collaboration Agreement with the First Nations Energy and Mining Council and the First Nations Forestry Council

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2009) - The BC Bioenergy Network ("BCBN"), the First Nations Energy and Mining Council ("FNEMC") and the First Nations Forestry Council ("FNFC") today announced they are entering into a strategic agreement to further the development and commercialization of bioenergy technologies in British Columbia.

Under the terms of the agreement, the BCBN, the FNEMC and the FNFC have agreed to cooperate together to increase understanding of BC First Nations' capacity development opportunities relating to energy and economic development, and in particular, bioenergy power solutions for First Nations communities. The parties will endeavor to raise additional capital to support these projects. Project examples could include biomass powered combined heat and power generation systems and are anticipated to be collaborative development and demonstration centres which will showcase bioenergy solutions in First Nations communities.

"We are delighted to formalize our cooperation with the FNEMC and the FNFC and anticipate they will be key organizations to accelerate the development of the bioenergy sector in First Nations communities," said Michael Weedon, Executive Director of the BCBN. "We look forward to strengthening our relationship by establishing bioenergy demonstration projects in First Nations communities in order to showcase these solutions to other communities in BC."

"Through innovative bioenergy solutions, First Nations communities across British Columbia could play a key role in developing local, clean and renewable energy," said Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "This agreement will support the development of bioenergy projects that will generate economic activity, create jobs, support families and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

"Bioenergy is an industry with great potential to the economy. First Nations must be partners in all aspects including research, forest tenure, and project ownership," said Dave Porter, CEO of the FNEMC.

"This is a timely announcement for us since it coincides with our recent First Nations in the Forest Forum 2009 where in excess of 120 First Nations and other interested parties met to review opportunities for building capacity in the forest sector and the bioenergy industry for First Nations peoples," commented Keith Atkinson, CEO of the FNFC. "We have built a foundation in the last couple of years and now we are building the relationships necessary to implement some demonstration projects in our communities."

About the BC Bioenergy Network
Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, the BC Bioenergy Network is an industry-led association that acts as a catalyst for deploying near-term bioenergy technologies and organizing mission-driven research for the development and demonstration of sustainable to build a world class bioenergy capability in BC. For more information about the BCBN, visit www.bcbioenergy.ca.

About the First Nations Energy and Mining Council
The First Nations Energy and Mining Council operates under the authority of First Nations to support and facilitate their efforts to manage and develop energy and mineral resources in ways that protect and sustain the environment forever while enhancing the social, cultural, economic and political well being of BC First Nations.

About the First Nations Forestry Council
The FNFC Vision statement is "A healthy forest ecosystem that continues to sustain and enhance the cultural, spiritual, environmental, economic and social lives of the original owners and caretakers and is managed through respectful government-to-government and community relationships based on recognition and respect."

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