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Environmental group not satisfied with progress on Boreal forest


April 23, 2013
By Pulp & Paper Canada

A second environmental group has quit the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), an agreement endorsed by forest industry and environmental groups to protect Canada’s Boreal forest. Saying “not one hectare of Canada’s Boreal…

A second environmental group has quit the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), an agreement endorsed by forest industry and environmental groups to protect Canada’s Boreal forest. Saying “not one hectare of Canada’s Boreal forest has been protected,” forest conservation group Canopy announced its withdrawal mid-April. Another signatory of the agreement, Greenpeace, withdrew its support last December.

Canopy’s press release says more meaningful and timely results for the Boreal forest can be achieved through its work helping to shape paper purchasing decisions.

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“This collaboration with the logging industry was supposed to be a game-­changer for the protection of species and conservation in Canada’s threatened Boreal forest,” said Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of Canopy. “The disappointing reality is that not one hectare of forest has been protected and species and ecosystems are still at risk.”

She continued: “Canopy works with over 700 large corporate consumers of forest products and we will be informing them about the logging reality in Canada.”

When Greenpeace withdrew from the CBFA last December, the president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, David Lindsay, said: “The CBFA is a very complex deal with a wider scope than any other agreement ever reached anywhere in the world. Progress has not been as fast as originally hoped but we fully intend to keep working with conservation groups and foundations as well as Aboriginals, communities and the federal and provincial governments until we get it done.”

FPAC noted that some progress had been made, including: 29 million hectares of caribou-sensitive habitat that continues to be suspended from logging; a win-win solution in north-east Ontario that protected caribou while increasing wood supply; and a substantial blueprint for caribou action planning at the national level.

Launched in 2010 by nine environmental groups, FPAC and its member companies, the CBFA established unanimous objectives for large-­scale protection and world-leading forest practices and positioned Canada’s forest companies to take advantage of the growing green marketplace.

According to Canopy, in nearly three years of work, “the participating groups have been unable to agree on one joint recommendation for protection, while virtually all conservation milestones in the agreement have been missed and target dates for the completion of agreed objectives have been repeatedly shifted.”


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