Canadian Forest Industry and Environmental Groups Sign Worlds Largest Conservation Agreement Applying to Area Twice the Size of Germany

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Canadian Forest Industry and Environmental Groups Sign Worlds Largest Conservation Agreement Applying to Area Twice the Size of Germany

CANADA - Today 21 member companies of the Forest
Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmental
organizations, unveiled an unprecedented agreement - the Canadian
Boreal Forest Agreement - that applies to 72 million hectares of public
forests licensed to FPAC members. The Agreement, when fully
implemented, will conserve significant areas of Canada's vast Boreal
Forest, protect threatened woodland caribou and provide a competitive
market edge for participating companies.

Under
the Agreement FPAC members, who manage two-thirds of all certified
forest land in Canada, commit to the highest environmental standards of
forest management within an area twice the size of Germany.
Conservation groups commit to global recognition and support for FPAC
member efforts.   The Agreement calls for the suspension of new logging
on nearly 29 million hectares of Boreal Forest to develop conservation
plans for endangered caribou, while maintaining essential fiber
supplies for uninterrupted mill operations.  "Do Not Buy" campaigns by
Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the
Agreement is being implemented. 

 "The
importance of this Agreement cannot be overstated," said Avrim Lazar,
President and CEO of FPAC. "FPAC member companies and their ENGO
counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head. Together we have
identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and
environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers
of our products' sustainability.  It's gratifying to see nearly a
decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our
operations, is culminating in a process that will set a forestry
standard that will be the envy of the world." 

Environmental
groups, including the three organizations that have been mobilizing
large customers towards green products, say the coming together of two
traditional adversaries reflects a new commitment to a common goal.

"This
is our best chance to save woodland caribou, permanently protect vast
areas of the Boreal Forest and put in place responsible forestry
practices," said Richard Brooks, spokesperson for participating
environmental organizations and Forest Campaign Coordinator of
Greenpeace Canada.  "Concerns from the public and the marketplace about
wilderness conservation and species loss have been critical drivers in
arriving at this agreement. We have a lot of work to do together to
make this agreement successful and we are committed to make it happen." 

Also
vital to the agreement have been the efforts of the Pew Environment
Group and Ivey Foundation, which worked to support the two sides coming
together and to facilitate the negotiations. 

"For
years we have helped bring opposing parties together to conserve this
global treasure, Canada's boreal forest," said Steve Kallick, director
of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation
Campaign. "We're thrilled that this effort has led to the largest
commercial forest conservation plan in history, which could not have
happened without both sides looking beyond their differences. As
important as today's announcement is, our ultimate success will be
measured by how we tackle the work ahead to put this plan into
practice."

The Agreement identifies explicit commitments for both sides and sets out a plan, which includes: 

  • The development and implementation of world-leading forest management and harvesting practices; 
  • The
    completion of joint proposals for networks of protected areas and the
    recovery of species at risk including woodland caribou;
  • A full life cycle approach to forest carbon management; and
  • Support
    for the economic future of forest communities and for the recognition
    of conservation achievements in the global marketplace. 

Signatory
environmental organizations, FPAC, and the Association's companies have
begun meetings with provincial governments, First Nations and local
communities across the country to seek their leadership and full
participation in advancing the goals of the Agreement.  Participants
recognize that governments, including First Nation governments, are
decision makers within their jurisdictions. The Agreement recognizes
that aboriginal peoples have constitutionally protected aboriginal and
treaty rights that must be respected and engaged in order for the
Agreement to fulfill its objectives.

The
progress made to reach the objectives laid out in the Canadian Boreal
Forest Agreement will be regularly measured and reported on by a
jointly agreed-upon independent auditor.

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Forestry Companies Participating in the Agreement: 

AbitibiBowater,
Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp &
Paper Company, Cascades Inc., DMI, F.F. Soucy, Inc., Howe Sound Pulp
and Paper, Kruger Inc., LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill &
Timber Products Ltd, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd, Paper Masson Ltee,
SFK Pulp, Tembec Inc., Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd,
Weyerhauser Compnay Limited-all represented by the Forest Products
Association of Canada.

Environmental Organizations Participating in the Agreement: 

Canadian
Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy
(formerly Markets Initiative), the David Suzuki Foundation,
ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and
the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign.
The Hewlett Foundation's support for boreal forest conservation has
been critical to the collective efforts of these groups.

http://www.canadianborealforestagreement.com/index.php/en/

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