Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Green forestry deal from sea to sea

'World's biggest' forest protection deal for Canada
BBC News: Timber companies and environment groups have unveiled an agreement aimed at protecting two-thirds of Canada's vast forests from unsustainable logging... The total protected area is about twice the size of Germany, and equals the area of forest lost globally between 1990 and 2005.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) brings together 21 companies and nine environmental groups... Throughout the protected lands -- which run right across the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts -- companies and environment groups are pledging to work together to implement 'world-leading forest management and harvesting practices.'... Both parties are looking now for backing and re-inforcement from governments... That means the national and provincial authorities, and First Nation governments of indigenous groups, some of which have already indicated their support.

Toronto Star: The forestry companies will stop all logging immediately on 75 million acres... The two sides will then spend three years working out which restrictions to impose on logging in the remaining 95 million acres. In return, as the agreement comes into force, the green groups will end international 'Do not buy' campaigns against Canadian lumber... Tuesday's deal includes forests in seven of Canada's 10 provinces...It covers an area of about 1.4 billion acres, stretching from Newfoundland and Labrador on the Atlantic to the Yukon in the far northwest. Only about 10 percent of the forest is currently protected.

Canadian Press: The area where logging will be stopped is equivalent to 290,000 square kilometres, approaching half the size of Manitoba. John Dunford, manager of forestry and sustainability at Kamloops, B.C.-based Tolko Industries, said market recognition was key to passing the agreement. 'We think we're going to be the preferred supplier for most major customers around the world with this new agreement,' he said... 'This agreement is a light of hope for a battered industry,' said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. 'It is time now to make environmental leadership a value-added advantage for Canadian forest products.'

Financial Post: Having had enough of being blackballed, the Canadian forestry sector is making a bet on green... The industry has agreed to freeze all logging activity on expanses of the boreal forest, in total an area the size of Italy... 'The compromise was extensive,' said James Lopez, chief executive of Tembec Inc... 'We have to realize that not every acre of land and every tree is going to be accessible to process in our mills.'... But the upside of receiving endorsement from environmental groups will outweigh the costs... 'Don't underestimate the negative impact that the campaigns of the environmentalists have had on our companies.'

For a list of the parties of the agreement, both environmental organizations and forestry companies, go here (scroll down).
Image sources here and here.