The Canadian forest industry is a leader in green business initiatives, so why doesnt the world know it?

Posted June 23, 2016 in Pulp and Paper Industry by Elizabeth Tischer

The Canadian forest industry is leading the way in global forestry green initiatives 

One of the biggest forestry green issues that is causing great concern is climate change and the impact this will have, not only on the Canadian forest industry, but the world forest industry too. 

The problem is very much a double-edged sword. While climate in itself is a major influencing factor on forests, the forests themselves also influence climate. On the one hand, poorer quality forests (in terms of forestry health) will have an adverse effect on the climate, but improved quality forests can benefit climate change. 

Understanding the effects of climate change and the forests of Canada 

Climate change is a natural phenomenon. We know that the Earth has been through five significant ice ages, each followed by periods of warming. Each change has had a significant effect on the planet’s forests. But because scientists have found that climate change appears to be speeding up, the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) is proactively involved with 2 major important areas of research: 

• Understanding the impacts of climate change on forests and the forest sector

• Preparing for appropriate responses to these impacts

The studies that the CFS is undertaking include:

• Researching the impact that Canada’s forests have on the global carbon balance

• Evaluating the past, present and future effects of climate change on the forests of Canada

• Identifying the options for using Canada’s forestry green plans to mitigate climate change

• Identifying the options for using Canada’s forestry green plans to adapt to climate change 

The Canadian Forest Service leads the way 

The new knowledge that the CFS is gaining will help forest managers to plan strategies for reducing the risks of climate change and any negative effects on the ecosystem and the forestry sector. This new knowledge will also help managers to optimize any advantages that may spring from climate change. 

In addition the CFS is also liaising with provinces, territories, universities and industry in general, to design tools in order to help managers and policymakers with the decision-making process they will face. 

The forests of Canada cover a larger land area and store more carbon than most forests in any other nation in the world. To confirm their importance on the global forestry stage, when measured last year (2014) Canada had the third largest land area of third party owned forests in the world, containing 161 million hectares of independently certified forestland. 

So the success with which Canada develops its forestry green credentials is of global interest. Knowing this, Canada is proactively engaged in climate change discussions on an international scale. 

In order to ensure that their forestry green policies are being implemented and managed correctly, Canada has independent third parties checking on individual forestry companies to make sure they comply with the internationally accepted standards that Canada itself played a pivotal role in bringing into fruition.

Public participation promotes forestry green issues 

By involving members of the Canadian public through their participation in certain aspects of forestry husbandry, and forestry green initiatives, the CFS encourages the public to take a more active interest in the future of Canadian forests. Members of the public are invited to: 

• Participate in the review of their provinces forestry policy

• Participate in decision making with regard to the planning process on the use of forestland

• Contribute to the development of forest management plans 

These sorts of programs and initiatives mean that Canada is giving its citizens a voice in the way that their forests are managed. It helps to bring a balance to the otherwise commercial view that companies must make in order to make a profit, by ensuring forestry green issues are considered and implemented wherever possible. 

Although citizens in the rest of the world may not be aware of it, the CFS and the people of Canada are world leaders in terms of promoting forestry green issues for the benefit of the rest of the planet.



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