Canopy, a group aimed at forest conservation through working with paper buyers, has withdrawn from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), citing the agreement’s lack of effectiveness.
The agreement, launched in 2010, was put forth by nine environmental groups and the Forest Products Association of Canada (including its 19 member companies). The CBFA aimed at unanimous objectives for large-scale protection and ethical forest practices. In the three ensuing years, however, Canopy alleges that the group has not been able to agree on any protection recommendations while milestones and deadlines have been missed.
“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.”
Boreal forests are the world’s largest terrestrial carbon sink, serving to store the equivalent of 26 years of global fossil fuel emissions in trees, soil, water and peat. Thirty percent of North America’s bird populations rely on the Boreal forest for breeding. Canada’s Boreal forest contains 80 per cent of the world’s unfrozen fresh water and provides critical habitat for the endangered and iconic Woodland caribou. The CBFA had an initial 76 milestones to protect 50 to 70 percent of the Boreal, a percentage science has deemed necessary to ensure ecological certainty.
NGOs still part of the CBFA include: Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, The Nature Conservancy, Pew Environmental Group International and the Ivey Foundation. The forestry companies participating are: Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., AV Group, Canfor Corporation, Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades inc., Conifex Timber 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., Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., NewPage Corporation, Resolute Forest Products, Tembec, Tolko Industries Ltd., West FraserTimber Co. Ltd., and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited — all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada
“Canopy works with over 700 large corporate consumers of forest products and we will be informing them about the logging reality in Canada,” said Rycroft. “The decision to leave the CBFA was not taken lightly. We remain committed to collaborative solutions building and hope that by re-‐invigorating our markets work we can open the door to large-scale and timely conservation of the boreal forest.”