Submitted: The Two Sides Team December 8, 2015
PARIS, France, Nov. 27, 2015 – On the occasion of the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP21), the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers is proud to showcase the comprehensive work that has been done in Canada to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities in the context of a changing climate.
The Council's Climate Change and Sustainable Forest Management in Canada guidebook provides scientific information and tools for forest managers to build climate change science into their sustainable forest management practices. This report, as well as many others that look at climate change and forests, is available to the public at no cost at www.ccfm.org.
The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers believes that Canada's environmental credentials in forest management are world class and stand up against all objective examination. The Council makes a point of sharing up-to-date factual information on Canadian forest resources for all to see.
"Science is fundamental to how forests are managed in Canada," said the Honourable Scott Kent, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources for the Yukon Territory, and current Chair of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. "Year after year, Canada has shown its commitment to sustainable forest management by making major investments in science and continuously building on our knowledge base. We also work with experts and community leaders – including Indigenous communities – to ensure that decisions are made that reflect the social, environmental and economic values we place on the forest".
"Climate-sensitive sustainable forest management practices — based on science and effective partnerships — will help Canada respond to the challenge of climate change," said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources. "We are committed to reaching an ambitious global agreement, anchored in robust science, that will lead the world toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy."
Recognizing that climate change and climate variability are challenges that forest managers are facing now, forest ministers from across Canada are continuing to work together to ensure Canada is practicing climate sensitive sustainable forest management, based on the best available science, to support the ongoing environmental value of the country's forests.
The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers was established in 1985 to provide a forum for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work cooperatively to address issues of common interest. The Council provides leadership on national and international issues and sets direction for the stewardship and sustainable management of Canada's forests.
- Canada has 161 million hectares of forest land that is independently certified as sustainably managed. That's 43 percent of the world's certified forests — far more than any other country in the world.
- The majority of Canada's forest land is publicly-owned. Ninety percent of forested land is managed under provincial and territorial authority, two percent is under federal jurisdiction, and an additional two percent is owned and managed by Indigenous Peoples. The remaining six percent of forest land is on private property.
- Jurisdictions require that all forests harvested on public land must be successfully regenerated and reflect their natural diversity.
- Less than 0.2 percent of managed forest is harvested yearly. In contrast, 0.7 percent is disturbed by fire and insect infestations, as part of normal ecological cycles.