New Report Confirms Canada’s Strong Forest Management Practices

UPDATE 9/14/17: NRDC has presented more ill-conceived and misguided arguments about Resolute’s position on sustainable forest management. In their latest post, NRDC says that the Canadian government ought to do more to protect the boreal, when there is ample evidence, including the new report discussed below, showing that Canada has some of the strongest forestry regulations in the world. 

Furthermore and contrary to their claims, we fully support and are in complete alliance with FPAC’s policies. In fact, Resolute is an internationally recognized leader in environmental stewardship and responsible practices in the boreal region, a fact the post fails to mention. 

These are serious issues that call for substance and nuance, but unfortunately none of that is on display here. For months, NRDC leaders Rhea Suh and Anthony Swift have ignored calls from boreal residents to visit the region to discuss the real impact irresponsible activist campaigns are having on their communities. 

Will NRDC’s new Washington, D.C.-based “boreal expert” have the integrity to come hear directly from the communities that she is trying to impact from afar?  Seems doubtful.  

Update to Our Previous Response to NRDC:

We have previously exposed Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) intellectually dishonest attempt to undermine research demonstrating that forest resources in Canada are among the world’s best regulated and managed. A new report from NEPCon (produced with the support of the Forest Stewardship Council®) provides further evidence that NRDC’s claims are misleading and irresponsible.[1] NEPCon is a well-known international non-profit organization that performs certification audits for the FSC and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) standards.

Despite never mentioning compliance rates, NRDC argues that while Canada’s forest management policies are strong, there is no evidence for “on-the-ground enforcement and compliance.”[2] But after reviewing a number of reliable sources and conducting its own evaluation on forest management and harvesting practices in Canada, the NEPCon report concludes:

“Canada has a robust system of procedures to ensure that its forests are governed in the public interest. Several reports and studies have confirmed that Canada’s forest management policies and practices are among the most stringent in the world.”

The NEPCon report cites numerous certification and sustainability groups including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Resources Institute who find that Canada has “the lowest prevalence of suspicious log supply and corruption of any country” as well as a low risk for illegal logging. Further, the World Bank includes Canada among the world’s Top 10 countries when it comes to respect for the rule of law.

As for Canadian harvesting policies and enforcement, the report concludes that “laws are upheld” and instances “where laws/regulations are violated are efficiently followed up via preventative actions taken by authorities and/or relevant entities.” The report reaches the same conclusion when it comes to species protection, “the protection of socially and ecologically important sites,” compliance with environmental regulations, health and safety requirements, trade, and transport.

It has now been 10 months since boreal communities, union leaders and trade groups reached out to NRDC Director Rhea Suh in good faith to ask questions and share concerns that NRDC’s claims didn’t represent the reality on the ground in the boreal forest. They still have not received a visit from NRDC leaders or even the courtesy of a phone call.

NRDC’s unfounded claims do a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of Canadian forestry workers who are committed to responsible practices.  

[1] http://beta.nepcon.org/sites/default/files/library/2017-08/NEPCon-TIMBER-Canada-Risk-Assessment-EN-V1.pdf

[2] https://www.nrdc.org/experts/anthony-swift/spinning-green-stumps-speak-louder-words-page

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