Greenpeace and their cohorts continue to spread false and misleading information about Canada’s forest management practices. Their campaigns call on forest products companies like ours to halt operations, threatening thousands of jobs and livelihoods in the process, or seek further regulations from the Canadian government.
But these groups’ claims about Canadian forestry practices are full of hot air.
Here are 7 facts about Canadian forests that they omit from their campaigns.
1. Canada’s forestry laws are strict – and they are enforced. One recent report, funded with the support of the Forest Stewardship Council®, concluded:
2. Canada’s deforestation rate is very low – less than 0.01% each year – and that rate is actually falling! According to Natural Resources Canada, deforestation in Canada is generally the result of land conversion for agriculture (43%), resource extraction (34%) or urban expansion (12%).
3. Less than 0.5% of Canada’s forests are harvested each year – that’s about the half the size of Connecticut, but spread out over all of Canada. It’s also far less than the amount disturbed by insects, disease and forest fires combined.
4. Canadian law requires that 100% of harvested areas be regenerated. In Quebec and Ontario, the provinces in which Resolute operates, about 75-80% regenerates naturally. The other 25% is promptly reforested.
5. Canada is a leader in forest certification with 37% of all the world’s certified forests. 48% of Canada’s forests are certified by third parties, ensuring compliance with recognized standards of sustainable forest management.
6. Canada’s boreal forest is a source for people’s livelihood through direct employment – in harvesting and regenerating forests, and in manufacturing operations – and indirect employment – the grocery stores, schools, hospitals and thousands of other businesses and organizations that depend upon boreal communities.
7. The Canadian forest products industry is crucial for Aboriginal communities. 17,000 Aboriginal people are employed directly or indirectly or make their living from the forest products industry, making it one of the largest employers of Aboriginal people in the country.