Canadian forest industry and environmental groups sign world’s largest conservation agreement (May 18, 2010)
By Pulp & Paper Canada
By Pulp & Paper Canada
Twenty-one member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmenta…
Twenty-one member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmental organizations have reached an unprecedented agreement – the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – that applies to 72 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members. The agreement will conserve significant areas of Canada’s vast Boreal Forest and protect threatened woodland caribou.
Under the agreement, FPAC members commit to the highest environmental standards of forest management within an area twice the size of Germany. Conservation groups commit to global recognition and support for FPAC member efforts.
“The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated,” said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of FPAC. “FPAC member companies and their ENGO counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head. Together we have identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers of our products’ sustainability. It’s gratifying to see nearly a decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our operations is culminating in a process that will set a forestry standard that will be the envy of the world.”
The agreement calls for the suspension of new logging on nearly 29 million hectares of Boreal Forest to develop conservation plans for endangered caribou, while maintaining essential fibre supplies for uninterrupted mill operations. “Do Not Buy” campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the agreement is being implemented.
The agreement identifies explicit commitments for both sides and sets out a plan, which includes:
– The development and implementation of world-leading forest management and harvesting practices;
– The completion of joint proposals for networks of protected areas and the recovery of species at risk, including woodland caribou;
– A full life cycle approach to forest carbon management; and
– Support for the economic future of forest communities and for the recognition of conservation achievements in the global marketplace.
Signatory environmental organizations, FPAC, and the association’s companies have begun meetings with provincial governments, First Nations and local communities across the country to seek their leadership and full participation in advancing the goals of the agreement.