Last week, 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine environmental organizations, unveiled what the groups involved refer to as an unprecedented agreement. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement applies to 72-million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members, an area described to be twice the size of Germany.
When fully implemented, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is designed to conserve significant areas of Canada’s Boreal Forest and protect woodland caribou, while still allowing the forestry companies to maintain a competitive market edge. The FPAC members are said to manage two-thirds of all certified forestland in Canada.
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 fiber supplies for uninterrupted mill operations. “Do Not Buy” campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the Agreement is being implemented.
“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.”
Participating forestry companies:
AbitibiBowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper, Cascades, DMI, F.F. Soucy, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger, LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products, NewPage Port Hawkesbury, Papier Masson, SFK Pulp, Tembec, Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber, and Weyerhauser.
Participating environmental organizations:
Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy (formerly Markets Initiative), the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Pew Environment Group.
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