New Report Reveals Protection of Ontario's Intact Boreal Forest Critical In Fight To Stave Off Global Warming



    TORONTO, March 13 /CNW/ - Failure to change logging practices and protect
Ontario's intact boreal forest will dangerously accelerate climate change,
ForestEthics announced today in a new cutting edge report. The report, Robbing
the Carbon Bank: Global Warming and Ontario's Forests, details how logging the
intact boreal forest is escalating carbon dioxide levels and increasing global
warming.
    Robbing the Carbon Bank represents the first comprehensive attempt to
expose the impacts of logging Ontario's intact boreal forest on global
warming. The report is expected to increase pressure on the Ontario government
to deliver on its promise of protecting Ontario's boreal forest through
planning prior to development in the north, and through setting aside key
areas of boreal forest as both carbon storehouses as well as habitat of
critical declining species such as caribou.
    "Protecting our boreal forests must be a key component of any government
climate plan," said ForestEthics' Strategic Director, Tzeporah Berman.
"Logging forests in Canada releases more greenhouse gases than the use of all
of Canada's passenger vehicles. We need to stop this wholesale looting of our
common carbon bank if we want to mitigate global warming."

    
    The report's findings include the following:
    -   Logging in Ontario releases an estimated 4 Mt C (15 Mt CO2) per year,
        or 19 tonnes of carbon per hectare.(1) That is roughly equivalent to
        the carbon emitted from all light-duty gas-powered trucks in the
        province and 7% of Ontario's total GHG emissions.
    -   Canada's boreal forests store a whopping 47.5 billion tons of carbon
        - 7 times the entire world's fossil fuel emissions - a giant carbon
        bank account.
    -   According to the Stern report, released in Britain in November of
        2006: "Action to preserve remaining areas of natural forest is
        urgent."(2)
    

    "As Premier McGuinty has noted, our economic future is tied to our
ecological prosperity," said Berman. "Through strong environmental leadership
we can capture growing green markets for forest products as we protect our
climate, air and water for our children and grandchildren."

    
    The report advises the immediate:
    -   Protection of forest ecosystems in Ontario's boreal forests with a
        priority on intact, old forests and critical species habitat such as
        caribou range;
    -   Implementation of ecologically sound land use planning (LUP)
        processes that honour aboriginal rights and account for global
        warming prior to development;
    -   Growth of recycled and re-used wood and paper products;
    -   Development of longer harvest rotations for optimal forest age for
        forest carbon storage, and use of less intensive harvest techniques
        to protect soil carbon stores; and the reduction of opportunities for
        fires in forest ecosystems;
    -   Introduction of carbon-sequestering forest management practices on
        second growth forests.
    

    For more information and to view the report online, visit
www.forestethics.ca

    ForestEthics, a nonprofit with staff in Canada, the United States and
Chile, recognizes that individual people can be mobilized to create positive
environmental change - and so can corporations. Armed with this unique
philosophy, ForestEthics has protected more than seven million acres of
Endangered Forests.

    
    (1) Environment Canada. 2006. National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas
        Sources and Sinks in Canada 1990-2004. Submission to the United
        Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. April 2006 Advance
        Copy.

        Logging in Canada releases on average 33 Mt of carbon (122 Mt CO2)
        into the atmosphere each year, which is equivalent to 16 percent of
        Canada's total GHG emissions.(1) Ontario's share of that is an
        estimated 12.3 per cent, or 4 Mt C (15 Mt CO2) per year (19 tonnes of
        carbon per hectare). Ontario's annual GHG emissions are 203 Mt C02
        therefore logging is equivalent to 7 percent of Ontario's total GHG
        emissions. According to current IPCC 2003 methodology, emissions from
        forest management comprise all the CO2-C contained in harvested
        roundwood and harvest residues. All carbon transferred out of managed
        forests as wood products is deemed an immediate emission.

    (2) Stern, N. et al. 2006. Stern Review on the Economics of Climate
        Change.
    




For further information:

For further information: Tzeporah Berman, ForestEthics Strategic
Director, (604) 313-4713; David Robbins, ForestEthics Communications, (613)
878-1431

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