Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 13:28 EDT

Breakthrough under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement for caribou, economy and communities in Ontario’s northeast

June 28, 2012

TORONTO, June 28, 2012 /CNW/ – Forest company and conservation group
signatories to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) welcome
Ontario’s support today of their approach and joint recommendations on
an action plan for an area of the province’s boreal forest almost five
times the size of Metro Toronto.

The action plan recommendations aim to secure the future of the 3
million hectares of caribou range in the Abitibi River Forest to
conserve Boreal woodland caribou and maintain hundreds of jobs in

The proposed approach and recommendations are intended to produce over
800,000 hectares of critical habitat for Boreal woodland caribou that
would be excluded from harvest.  The remaining 2.2 million hectares
would remain open to forestry, with high standards of sustainable
forest practices in place to safeguard wildlife and ecosystems.

“This proposed breakthrough plan for the Abitibi River Forest
underscores that prosperity and conservation go hand-in-hand by
recognizing that conservation is not at the expense of economic
prosperity, but complementary to it. It is also a testament to the
collective efforts of the environmental groups and companies that have
been able to find common ground” said Janet Sumner, executive director
of CPAWS-Wildlands League, one of Canada’s leading conservation groups.

“The CBFA’s cooperative, multi-stakeholder approach has produced an
action plan which strengthens Canada’s position as a progressive
forestry leader by preserving jobs and strengthening communities, while
protecting forest ecosystems and natural habitat. It is yet another
example of our industry’s commitment to true sustainable development.
 Partnering with conservation groups and other stakeholders to reach a
common goal is a growing tradition for our industry, so we proudly
salute this achievement and look forward to its implementation,” said
James Lopez, Tembec President and CEO, speaking on behalf of Canadian
forestry companies.

“The Ontario government supports the collaborative efforts of the CBFA.
We are encouraged by what appears to be a positive path forward and we
are pleased to review the details of the recommendations, as we
continue to work together to strengthen our Northern communities and
create jobs, while ensuring the protection of woodland caribou,” said
Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle.

The historic CBFA was signed in May 2010 and now includes nine
environmental organizations and the Forest Products Association of
Canada and its 19 member companies and it now applies to more than 75
million hectares across the country. It is a globally significant
precedent that seeks to conserve significant areas of Canada’s vast
Boreal Forest, protect threatened woodland caribou, and sustain a
healthy forestry industry for the communities who rely on it.

This represents the first major proposal to advance under the Canadian
Boreal Forest Agreement that will result in large-scale conservation of
critical woodland caribou habitat and sustainable local forest
industry. CBFA signatories continue to work on conservation plans
across Canada’s Boreal forest.

Chief Linda Job of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation said the Abitibi River
Forest action plan recommendations respect Aboriginal rights and is
sensitive to the needs and aspirations of her government and local

“Our Aboriginal knowledge provided valuable information in
developing the part of the woodland caribou plan for conservation,
renewal and protection within our traditional territory.   We had the
opportunity to voice our opinions and provide input on key elements to
develop the strategy to balance conservation and resource development
that will improve our economic and social conditions,” said Chief Job.

Tom Laughren, Mayor of Timmins and President of the Northeastern Ontario
Municipal Association (NEOMA), also endorsed the recommended approach.
“The NEOMA membership fully supports this approach to managing the
Abitibi River Forest,” said Laughren.

“We are very pleased with this tangible success achieved in Northeast
Ontario.  It serves as a good example of the importance of having
various stakeholders working together in a truly collaborative spirit.
 Such an approach yields a result supporting the three pillars of
sustainability – environmental, social and economic,” stated Richard
Garneau, President and CEO of Resolute Forest Products.

The anticipated outcomes of these recommendations are:

        --  Greater conservation of forested areas that are critical
            caribou habitat, and increased harvesting emphasis placed on
            areas where caribou have not been present for some time;
        --  An increase to over 835,000 hectares of boreal woodland caribou
            habitat excluded from timber harvesting;
        --  Approximately 2.2 million hectares that remain open to timber
            harvest  with increased yields of spruce saw logs and pulp, but
            with greater conservation measures for caribou habitat; and
        --  An estimated 20% increase in spruce wood supply for the next 30
            years from the current direction for the area.

For access to high resolution B-roll footage and photography of
Northeastern Ontario Boreal forest please go to the following link and
enter in the username and password “media” in lower case: http://canadianborealforestagreement.com/media-gallery

The following are signatories to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement:

Environmental Organizations (ENGOs): 

Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
(CPAWS), Canopy, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, The
Nature Conservancy, Pew Environment Group International Boreal
Conservation Campaign, and Ivey Foundation.

Ontario Nature is a member of the Ontario Regional Working Group

Forestry Companies: 

Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., AV Group, Canfor Corporation,
Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Conifex
Timber Inc., Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., Fortress Paper Ltd.,
Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited, Kruger Inc., LP Canada Ltd., Mercer
International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd., Millar Western Forest
Products Ltd., Resolute Forest Products, Tembec, Tolko Industries Ltd.,
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., and Weyerhaeuser Company Limited – all
represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada which is also
a signatory.


Source: PR Newswire