Forest Products Industry Experience Supports IPCC's Wake-up Call - Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic Serves as Graphic Illustration of IPCC's Warnings



    OTTAWA, April 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) today responded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's
report, Climate Change 2007: Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability, by urging
more rapid action on the part of all industry sectors and governments to
address the impact that climate change is already having on Canada's
ecosystems.
    "This report is an important wake up call to all; climate change is not
just a future problem, it is here today and it is having very real impact on
Canada," said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "The devastating impact
of the pine beetle plague is an all too graphic example of just how vulnerable
Canada's environment and eco-systems are to a changed climate, and the rest of
the world is no less vulnerable." continued Lazar.
    The current mountain pine beetle epidemic has already destroyed a forest
area in British Columbia the size of New Brunswick, has crossed the Rockies
and now threatens to spread across the country. The beetle's surge is directly
attributable to the mild winter temperatures which have allowed the beetle
population to survive winter.
    "Canada's forest products sector is issuing a call to action for all
industry sectors to re-tool to reduce the environmental impact of their
operations." continued Lazar. "Our industry has extensively re-tooled to
reduce emissions. FPAC members alone have already exceeded the Kyoto target by
7 times, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 44%. Additionally, by
completely regenerating the forests, they are ensuring that these will
continue to serve as a carbon pool."
    "Today's IPCC report serves to highlight the need for climate change
adaptation measures and strategies. Mitigation alone will not stop climate
change - it will only help slow it down and reduce its intensity in the medium
term," added Lazar. "The fact remains that we now live in a changed climate.
Yet, despite the evidence of a changed climate, governments have
under-invested in preparedness. Canada's experience with the pine beetle
demonstrates that a robust preparedness program is urgently needed."

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry represents 3% of Canada's GDP and exports over $40 billion of
wood, pulp and paper annually. The industry is one of Canada's largest
employers, operating in hundreds of Canadian communities and providing nearly
900,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.




For further information:

For further information: Andrew Casey, Vice-President, Government
Relations and Communications, Forest Products Association of Canada, (613)
862-8403, acasey@fpac.ca


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