Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

“Draped like a green scarf across the shoulders of North America, the boreal or "northern" forest is Canada's largest biome or environmental community. It occupies 35% of the total Canadian land area and 77% of Canada's total forest land, stretching between northern tundra and southern grassland and mixed hardwood trees. The boreal forest's animals, plants and products affect each Canadian every day, from paper products, to the jack pine railway ties, through to the air we breathe. This northern forest, named after Boreas, the Greek god of the North Wind, is an inevitable and unavoidable part of who we are.”

That’s a poetic description of our Boreal Forest from Natural Resources Canada. In a historic agreement yesterday, nine environmental organizations and forest companies represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)announced a pact that will lead to large scale protection of wilderness areas, protection of threatened woodland caribou and significantly higher standards for forest management in the Boreal.

Reflecting triple bottom line values, the Agreement states “the company and environmental organization signatories have chosen to work together in addressing this challenge. They will work jointly in the marketplace and on the ground with leading practices and to support governments in their task of ensuring a fully functioning boreal ecosystem and world-competitive sustainable forest industry.”

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement has six goals:
• World-leading Boreal ‘on the ground’ sustainable forest management practices based on the principles of ecosystem based management, active adaptive management and third party verification.
• The completion of a network of protected areas that, taken as a whole, represents the diversity of ecosystems within the Boreal region and serves to provide ecological benchmarks.
• The recovery of species at risk within the Boreal Forest, including species such as Boreal caribou.
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the full life cycle from forest to end-of-product life.
• Improved prosperity of the Canadian forest sector and the communities that depend on it.
• Recognition by the marketplace (e.g., customers, investors, consumers) of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement and its implementation in ways that demonstrably benefit FPAC Members and their products from the Boreal.

The ENGOs involved are Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, Pew Environment Group International Boreal Conservation Campaign, and Ivey Foundation and the forest products companies (FPAC members) are AbitibiBowater Inc., Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., AV Group, Canfor Corporation, Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades inc., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., F.F. Soucy Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited Partnership, Kruger Inc., Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd., NewPage Corporation, Papier Masson Ltée, SFK Pâte, Tembec, Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited.

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