Forest industry remains committed to Boreal Forest AgreementThursday, December 06, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Forest industry remains committed to Boreal Forest Agreement
OTTAWA - Member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) remain committed to the promises made to Canadians, rural communities, the environment and the marketplace under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) and will continue to work hard with environmental partners on its implementation.
Greenpeace has announced it has abandoned the agreement but all other signatories remain at the table, dedicated to both the spirit and the letter of the CBFA.
The agreement is aimed at conserving both the Boreal forest and ensuring economic prosperity while taking joint responsibility for success.
"This historic agreement has been widely lauded around the world for embracing a new paradigm of co-operation and it's unfortunate that Greenpeace has decided to walk away. However forest companies remain committed and will continue working on implementation." says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "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."
Progress under the CBFA includes: 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 to support mills and communities; and a substantial blueprint for caribou action planning at the national level that is the most comprehensive work in this area ever reached.
Signatories are now making progress across the country to implement the agreement: four regional groups are active in Quebec, in North-East and North-West Ontario and in Alberta; work plans are under development in Newfoundland, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan; Aboriginals and provincial governments are increasingly engaged.
The Canadian forest products industry also continues to reduce its environmental footprint on other fronts.
Canada has more than 40 percent of the world's certified forests -151 million hectares - undertaken by an independent third party.
Canadian mills have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 2005 while emissions were going up in the general economy.
The industry has also reduced air contaminants by 44 percent and water use by 30 percent during the same time frame.
As part of Vision 2020, companies have set an ambitious goal to further reduce their environmental footprint by 35 percent by the end of the decade.
"We are proud of our world-leading environmental credentials that are well-recognized in the international marketplace," says Lindsay. "Other environmental groups have recognized industry for our efforts at greening our forest practices and we invite Greenpeace to come back to the table to work with us and others who remained committed to the CBFA. That's where the action is."
FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs.
The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 percent of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.