The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) says Canada has one of the best records in the world when it comes to sustainable forest management and the industry continues to engage with partners on further advances.
FPAC was responding to a recent study published by the World Resource Institute (WRI) that noted a global increase in the fragmentation of intact forest landscapes, while suggesting Canada is seeing the greatest reduction. In Canada, the degradation is mainly caused by an increase in forest fires directly linked to climate change, infestations such as the mountain pine beetle, and other land use pressures, rather than by forest sector activity.
“Canada’s forest products industry understands the importance of managing and conserving our forests and we are continuing to improve our environmental credentials,” says David Lindsay, the president and CEO of FPAC. “Our record is truly impressive.”
In Canada, all harvested areas must be regenerated by provincial law. Canada retains nearly 90 per cent of its original forest cover, with less than 0.2 per cent of forests harvested each year. Fire, insects and disease destroy about 0.5 per cent of the total acreage annually or three times the area affected by commercial harvesting. Canada has 150 million hectares or about 40 per cent of the world’s certified forests, by far the most in the world. Certification is an independent assessment that sustainable forest management is practiced in both original and 2nd growth forests. A 2014 Leger study found that Canada’s forest products industry has the best environmental reputation in the world.
Under Vision2020, FPAC member companies have set the goal of further improving their environmental record by another 35 per cent by the end of the decade. The companies are also working with major environmental groups under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), which considers the social, environmental and economic opportunities made available by better managing Canada’s boreal forest.
“The forest products industry actually helps to recover, preserve, and manage ecosystems in the face of global climate change,” says Lindsay. “We will continue to work with environmental groups, scientists, governments and others to find ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change and find responsible and progressive ways of managing our forests.”