Historic Boreal Forest Agreement At Risk

by Guest Blogger

May 17, 2012

Authored by Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Canada.

White Mountains in Quebec. The Valley of the White Mountains is one of the areas with the most active logging in Canadas Boreal Forest.
Boreal Forest

White Mountains in Quebec.

On the second anniversary of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) leading environmental organizations, Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace, are releasing a status report that reveals the CBFA has yet to deliver on the ground results. Two years into the agreement to develop a world-class model for conservation and protection, there are no new protected areas of endangered forests, no defined protections for endangered caribou, and no improvements to forest practices.

Nothing has changed since we signed the CBFA two years ago our commitment to the boreal is still unwavering and unfortunately the actual protection in place in this globally important forest has also not changed, said Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics. With no additional legal protection measures in place, the Boreal Forest remains at risk today.

At the time of signing, the CBFA was broken down into 75 milestones, each with a specific timeline attached. Today 58 milestones remain unfulfilled and only 10 were delivered on time.

Everyone had good intentions two years ago, but this update is a wake up call that we have a collective responsibility to deliver on the promises of Boreal forest protection and improved forest practices within a meaningful timeframe, said Stephanie Goodwin of Greenpeace. Companies that are buying Boreal Forest products are reasonable in demanding products from forests that are well-managed and protected.

The CBFA, announced in 2010, is an unprecedented conservation agreement between nine environmental organizations and 18 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). It is founded on logging deferrals in 28.5 million hectares and the suspension of do not buy campaigns by Greenpeace, ForestEthics and Canopy. The agreement seeks to protect large tracts of Canadas vast Boreal Forest, conserve threatened species such as woodland caribou, and sustain a healthy forestry industry for the communities who rely on it. It also calls for all aboriginal treaty rights and traditional territories in the Boreal to be respected. The Agreement promises to deliver these objectives within three years of its signing.

The results at this juncture are very disappointing. We remain fully committed to the vision set out in the CBFA, the spirit of collaboration in which it was signed, and we must measure our success through concrete gains in the forest, communities and market place,said Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director for Canopy.

View the full status report here.

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