In recent months, Greenpeace has launched an all-out attack on forestry producers Abitibi-Consolidated, Bowater, Kruger, and SFK Pulp for what they call the “destruction of the boreal forest.”
This scientifically groundless and factually incorrect campaign takes Greenpeace representatives to head offices of Sears, Rona, Time Magazine, and dozens of other companies that sell products manufactured from trees in the boreal forest.
The representatives paint a false picture of caribou herds under threat and massive deforestation due to the forestry industry—pressuring the companies to discontinue trade with these Canadian forest producers.
It is deeply concerning to me that groups such as Greenpeace and Forest Ethics are trying to advance their agenda at the expense of communities in Northwestern Ontario that rely on the forestry industry—while playing fast and loose with the truth.
The facts show that Canada is a global leader in sustainable forest management. For more than 20 years, our rate of deforestation has been zero.
Canada also has more protected forest than any other country in the world (over 40 million square hectares)—and 28 million hectares of these protected areas occur in the boreal forest.
Another key fact to consider is that 93 percent of Canada’s forests are publicly-owned and regulated. The companies operating on these lands are bound by:
•comprehensive legislation and enforcement;
•20-25 year forest management plans;
•rolling five-year development plans and site specific annual operational plans; and
•forest management plans that are subject to public review prior to approval.
A recent example of excellent forest management strategies was celebrated by Bowater’s Thunder Bay plant as it commemorated the 400 millionth seedling planted in Northwestern Ontario.
As part of the occasion, Bowater announced the establishment of an urban forest surrounding the new Broadway Avenue.
When complete, the urban forest will encompass 10 hectares of predominantly native species, and will house walking and educational trails for use by the community.
We can be justly proud of the examples of excellent forest management practices that Canada’s forest industry provides for countries around the world—and we must speak out against those who seek to tarnish our reputation.