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Canada's Sustainable Forests: topics including timber, biodiversity and the boreal forest

Canada's magnificent forests an ocean of

trees that scrape the sky and stretch

out from coast to coast a living

breathing storehouse of plants and

animals that provide a wealth of

resources for our survival and

well-being Canadians simply love our

forests and want to keep them forever

there's a lot to love Canada holds 10%

of the world's forests cover and 30% of

all boreal forests that's more than four

hundred million hectares of forest and

other woodland four million Canadians

live and work in the forests some nine

hundred thousand hectares are harvested

every year but that's less than 1% of

the land available for commercial forest

activities that's partly because of

canada's forest laws an independent

study by Yale University associate

professor Benjamin cushaw shows that

Canada has emerged as a world leader in

aggressively improving its practices in

sustainable forest management there's no

question that Canadian industry has been

highly proactive on forest certification

efforts Canadian forest products

industry is extremely innovative in

requiring all of its companies to be

certified according to one program or

the other on its forest lands Canada's

forest sector has made sweeping changes

to the way it operates there are new

methods of managing ecosystems to ensure

they support healthy wildlife

populations biodiversity must by law be

protected rivers and streams must be

buffered from tree cutting special

consideration must be made for soils so

that they're not eroded roads and

bridges must be constructed to high

standard to ensure that there's no

damage to fish habitats communities are

involved in every region from coastal

rain forests to the boreal Northlands

it means that people talk to governments

and industry about how they want the

forests developed and preserved the

public values its right to influence

what goes on in their forests Canadians

are heard directly through a variety of

public participation programs set up by

provincial governments a number of

provinces have enacted forest protection

acts the channel public input to shape

the highest standard for forest

sustainability in the world

in short ethical forest decisions must

incorporate the views of all Canadians

and respect Aboriginal and treaty rights

Canada openly welcomes other countries

to compare forests professionals code of

ethics is that we're not only

responsible to what we do in ethical and

what we do but responsible to the public

which is really key boss were

responsible to our employer and to our

clients and we're responsible to the

land to make sure that what we're doing

is good for now and for the future 20

years ago

Canada became the first country in the

world to develop a national forest

strategy under the direction of the

Canadian Council of Forest Ministers the

strategy guides Canadians in ongoing

work to sustainably managed forests the

values addressed include timber wildlife

habitat water quality recreation and

biodiversity forests are part of the

people they have played a huge role in

the European settlement of Canada and

its development into a great nation

forests are essential to our health and

to the health of the world forests

produce fresh air filter water store

carbon and safely house plant and animal

species Canadians understand the

richness of this legacy and our global

responsibility canada's state-of-the-art

harvesting techniques mirror its

improved standards of practice

a common method that is right for canada

is clear cutting it's suited to the

ecology of most forest sites in canada

with results similar to natural

disturbances such as wildfire or wind

storms

other harvesting techniques such as

shelter wood or retention systems are

used when there is a need to maintain a

wildlife habitat or to protect scenic

vistas about one-fifth of canada's logs

and pulp would come from private wood

lots and forests they also provide under

provincial guidelines maple sugar fuel

wood and Christmas trees and let's not

forget fun and recreation Canada is a

trading nation Forest Products are big

business crucially important to this

country's economy exports are valued now

at more than forty four billion dollars

a year in 2004 Canada exported more

forest products than any country in the

world the forest industry employs nine

hundred and twenty thousand people

that's almost six percent of Canada's

entire workforce amazingly the

industry's footprint is smaller than

ever because companies must return cut

sites to healthy forests after all

forests related tourism is also a

multi-billion dollar industry in Canada

Canada's forests are diverse they

sustainably produce a wide range of

quality products including softwood

lumber newsprint wood pulp and

engineered wood products those wood

products are backed by a national

grading and standard system so house

builders from Tokyo to Rotterdam know

the great qualities of Canadian wood

our biggest export markets are the

United States Japan the European Union

and China with so many customers around

the world it's no wonder that Canada has

the highest amount of land certified to

voluntary market-based forest

certification programs that means buyers

of Canadian would know the product comes

from forests that are managed on sound

environmental practices the three

systems used in Canada are the Canadian

standards Association the Forest

Stewardship Council and the sustainable

forestry initiative by January 2006

Canada had about 120 million hectares of

land certified by third-party auditors

that's an area more than twice the size

of France and it's growing every year

certification is all important in

today's user market one of Canada's

largest lumber customers is Mitsui homes

Japan's biggest home builder Canada so

there are bountiful forest resources and

it's well managed and it's satisfied by

a sustain of forest an agenda program it

is the power of the consumer that drives

the wood market more and more those

consumers want to buy from companies

that practice good forest management

that means certification and Canada is

clearly the world leader in third party

certified wood our products represent

the best environmental choice for

customers around the world

Canada achieves this through

cutting-edge scientific research our

scientists study the physiology of

old-growth forests new solutions are

being sought for pest control as well

researchers are developing new

technologies for fast growth forests and

innovative approaches to regeneration

our pulp and paper industry is a global

leader and waste paper recovery and has

had remarkable success in reducing

energy costs and greenhouse gas

emissions

wildfire plays a critical role in the

natural life of the forests but when

fire has to be fine Canada has

state-of-the-art capabilities every year

fires burn millions of hectares of trees

threatening people and property

Canada's eye in the sky radar set

provides firefighting teams with remote

sensing data to locate and identify

burning fires at low cost radar set also

provides researchers with detailed

images such as this one from the

firestorm surrounding Kelowna British

Columbia in 2003 Canada's leadership in

sustainable forest management goes far

beyond its own borders Canada is a

founding member of the Montreal process

it was created in 1994 to implement

internationally negotiated rules on the

conservation of temperate and boreal

forests Canada is also an active

participant in the United Nations Forum

on forests which promotes the

sustainable development of all types of

forests one example of canada's true

diversity is the model forest program

which fostered the international model

forest network the program is a living

laboratory where new ideas emerge in

forest management model forests brings

together organizations with diverse

views on how forests should be managed

in a spirit of collaboration they

develop innovative approaches to

sustainability for example the foothills

model forest program is studying the

effects of development on grizzly bears

to ensure they have the habitats they

need more than 800 Aboriginal

communities are located in Canada's

forests more than 1 million hectares of

reserve lands are suitable for forestry

hunting trapping and fishing over the

past decade some 1,700 forestry projects

have been funded by the First Nations

forestry program it helps combine new

concepts and technologies with

traditional skills one example of

innovation in this area is the

partnership with Aboriginal people which

ensures that ecosystem based forestry is

practiced on the ground in northern

Labrador

the in you nation and the Newfoundland

and Labrador Department of Natural

Resources a formed and unique

partnership to implement a strategic

forest management plan that will help to

enhance cross-cultural understanding and

traditional knowledge of Newfoundland

and Labrador zico systems we have just

the same decision-making power as the

province does in the kind of forest

management that occurs so that means

that deciding how much harvesting

deciding annual level cuts that's

normally left to provincial governments

we have a say in that deciding on the

kind of research projects that are

undertaken in our area it's a unique

partnership and it allows us to really

have a say in the kind of management

that occurs and it ensures that our

culture will live forever sustainable

forest management means all the

stakeholders including industry are on

the same page one example of an

association we've been pushing is third

party certification which basically

bring together all those values related

to water conservation why life habitat

conservation forest management forest

regeneration and so on and third party

certification is a condition of

membership Canada's sustainable forests

are supported by world-class management

practices we've learned to protect our

forest land to study it to harvest it

and to regenerate it

Canadians are sensitive to biodiversity

we prize all the creatures that live

amongst the trees we've set standards

and certification that are second to

none we've listened to our own people

and heard the voices of experts in other

nations but most of all Canadians have

listened to their hearts we love our

forests we're keeping them so everyone

can benefit and enjoy

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