Global Corporations and Investors Commit to Future of the Boreal Forest

April 18, 2011

OTTAWA, April 18 /PRNewswire/ – Signatories to the landmark Canadian Boreal
Forest Agreement (CBFA) today unveiled a new Boreal Business Forum
which is a roundtable comprised of CBFA participants, leading
corporations and investors with a strong interest in conservation of
the Boreal Forest. The membership reflects a variety of sectors
representing the marketplace regions sourcing from the Boreal,
including Canada, the US and Europe.

The Boreal Business Forum is intended to closely monitor progress in
implementing the Agreement, provide external validation to the process,
serve as external advocates for the solutions proposed under the
Agreement and play an active role in two broader stakeholder
roundtables to be organized upon completion of the ecological
components of the Agreements.

Its current members represent over $140 billion in revenues and include
Axel Springer, Batirente, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Corporation,
Indigo Books & Music, Kimberly-Clark, Limited Brands, Lowes, Office
Depot, RONA, SHARE, Staples, Time Inc. and VDZ.

“Customer and investor concern over environmental threats to the Boreal
Forest is the prime motivator for industry and environmental groups
reaching the initial agreement,” said Nicole Rycroft, Executive
Director of Canopy. “Participants of the Boreal Business Forum will
provide invaluable guidance and keep us all accountable to our
conservation commitments.”

“The participants in the Boreal Business Forum represent a marketplace
that is increasingly demanding products of the highest environmental
quality and we are pleased to have their support as we make this vision
a reality,” said Richard Garneau, President and CEO of AbitibiBowater.

“We at Rona are honoured to join the Boreal Forest Business Forum. The
Forum will allow us to work with other stakeholders, including
respected NGOs that share a common goal: the conservation of the boreal
forest.” commented Eric Paradis, VP of merchandising at RONA.

“The signing of Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement represented a historic
milestone in the environment-forestry debate,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui,
Director of Environmental Strategy at Office Depot, “But like many
agreements, signing is not the end point – it’s the start. As a
business that uses forest products from Canada, we would like all
signatories to remain positively engaged, and we look forward to
working with them to achieve the desired outcomes of the Agreement.”

The CBFA is an historic agreement between 9 environmental organizations
including Greenpeace, Canopy and ForestEthics, and 21 member companies
of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) 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.

FPAC companies have committed to suspending logging on nearly 29 million
hectares of Boreal Forest to develop conservation plans for endangered
Woodland caribou, while maintaining essential fiber supplies for
uninterrupted mill operations. However, the real promise of the CFBA
will lie in the development of large protected areas and world-leading
forest management practices across a much larger landscape. Toward this
end, the CBFA will develop conservation solution recommendations to the
final decision makers of First Nations and Provincial governments.

CBFA signatories believe both successful forest conservation and
business competitiveness require effective involvement of Aboriginal
peoples and their governments. The signatories are committed to such
involvement taking place in a manner that is respectful of and engages
these Aboriginal rights, title, interests, and aspirations.

The Boreal Business Forum will meet every six months. Its next meeting
is planned for May 2011 with the objective of acquiring in depth
knowledge of the first independent audit report and to provide guidance
on next steps.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was announced in May 2010 and
implementation will take place over the next three years.

SOURCE Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Secretariat

Source: newswire

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