The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: progress and challenges, one year on.

Page - May 17, 2011
18 May 2011 (Toronto) — Statement by Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator with Greenpeace on the first anniversary of the signing of the historic Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement:

"On this day last year, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement created an important truce between two groups that had been in longstanding conflict that included boycott campaigns and blockades. A year later, Greenpeace reiterates its commitment to using this historic conservation opportunity to create meaningful, on-the-ground protection of the Boreal Forest.

“We continue to work hard with the other environmental groups and the forest industry on creating joint proposals for large protected areas, on implementing world-leading, climate friendly forestry practices, and on developing conservation plans for species at risk, such as the woodland caribou.

“Based on the latest independent science, our key goal is to conserve between 50 and 70 per cent of the Boreal Forest under the tenure of the 21 forest companies involved in the CBFA.

“Simultaneously, Greenpeace is committed to achieving renewed economic stability and prosperity for the forest industry and the communities that depend on it and to promoting sustainable forest products in the marketplace.

“There have been challenges. These include reconciling traditionally competing visions of the forest sector, meeting ambitious timelines and finding sufficient funding for all the work.

“We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with local aboriginal communities that have a fundamental role in shaping the outcomes and determining the success of the Agreement. Greenpeace believes that for the agreement to work, the rights of First Nations in regards to their traditional territories must be respected. We support the free, prior and informed consent for all aboriginal governments.”

“The support of the Boreal Business Forum more than a dozen buyers and investors in the forest-products marketplace — including tissue giant Kimberley-Clark, retailers Rona and Office Depot and others — is vital to the success of this Agreement. The marketplace is watching CBFA implemention closely and wants to see tangible on-the-ground improvement as soon as possible. Hard work can make this happen.

“We believe that together, environmental groups and the forest industry can create the solutions necessary for preserving Canada’s precious Boreal Forest – the successful implementation of the CBFA can be proof of this.”