Apr 11, 2019 - 8 months ago
By Supply Post
Derek Nighbor - President And Ceo Of The Forest Products Association Of Canada
March 21 was the International Day of Forests, designated as such by the United Nations. It was time to celebrate forest families and communities, as well as our country's pioneering approach to forest management, one of the country's most important renewable resources.
In all respects, Canada is a world leader when it comes to managing forests and ecosystems, wildlife and the communities that depend on them. Recently, our approach was validated at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24), where a Ministerial Declaration on Forests and Climate was adopted to recognize the critical role that forests and forest management play in Canada. and around the world to help us achieve our climate goals.
We salute Canada's professional foresters who care for the country's forests, not only for their planning and implementation of harvesting and reforestation activities, but also for the promotion of important forest values such as forest protection, wildlife, biodiversity and water. Careful planning of Canada's forest management is one of the reasons we harvest less than 0.5% of our forests each year, replace the harvested trees by planting 1,000 trees every minute and not have no problems of deforestation or illegal logging that we are seeing in other countries of the world.
It is through these people's commitment to healthy forests and forest ecosystems that Canada retains more than 90% of its original forest cover. In fact, the vast majority of Canada's forest disturbances are caused by fires and pests, not harvesting activities.
It's important to know that our managed forests are carbon sinks, not sources. The 2018 edition of Natural Resources Canada's State of Canada's Forests report confirms that active forested areas in Canada continue to represent a sink of 20 million tonnes of carbon. Think about it for a minute. The forests we harvest for the wood products that store the carbon are reforested and regenerated, making them the next generation of trees that store carbon, with younger forests absorbing more carbon than the older ones.
It is unfortunate that we are becoming accustomed more and more to internationally funded activists who are trying to undermine the contribution of our sector to the environment, the economy and the social fabric of our forest communities. Their latest media campaign leaves us perplexed. She claimed that Canada's forests were "destroyed" to provide toilet paper to Americans. What nonsense! Such misleading campaigns are not only a direct attack on our forest workers and their families, but they run counter to the climate change mitigation goals we should all embrace.
They also forget the major objective of finding a value for each part of the trees harvested. The vast majority of paper and sanitary products from Canadian forests are made from wood chips from lumber production in Canadian mills. Using these residues allows us to transform what would otherwise be considered waste into the products people need, while being an important source of revenue for our sawmills. Given the movement to reduce the presence of plastic in our environment, we are excited about the even greater potential for using chips, bark, branches and sawdust.
On behalf of the more than 230,000 forestry professionals and their families, as well as more than 600 forest communities from coast to coast, FPAC will continue to stand up for Canada's forest sector. Our Canadian approach to forest management brings real environmental, social and economic benefits to our country.
Note from the President and Chief Executive Officer: We can not think of a better time than International Forestry Day to pay tribute to Peter deMarsh of Taymouth, New Brunswick. Peter died tragically in the sad plane crash that occurred in Ethiopia. Peter was the cream of the crop in our area. He was long-time President of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners and President of the International Family Forestry Alliance. He was a giant in the global forest scene, sharing his experience of family and Canadian forestry with families and forest communities around the world. Peter will be missed. We were very moved to hear the tributes all over the world. Our thoughts go to his wife Jean, to his son Luke.