Commitment to ongoing work with other forestry companies remains strong
OTTAWA, May 21, 2013 /CNW/ - On the third anniversary of the signing of
the historic Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), environmental
signatories are suspending further work with Resolute Forest Products.
They remain committed to continuing their work with other signatory
companies to plan for protection of critical Boreal woodland caribou
habitat and sustainable forest management practices.
"We are very pleased with the groundbreaking solutions for conservation
we have forged under the CBFA with companies such as Tembec, Alberta
Pacific Forest Industries, and Millar Western Forest Products in
northeastern Ontario and Alberta respectively," said Janet Sumner of
the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
"We are also optimistic about advancing conservation and sustainable
forestry plans through our on-going work with Tolko, Weyerhaeuser, and
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
"However, despite three years of work we feel we have not been able to
make meaningful progress towards science-based conservation and
sustainable forestry plans with Resolute Forest Products on its large
tenures in Quebec and Northwestern Ontario. After creating and
revising numerous conservation analyses, and putting several workable
proposals on the table, we have come to the sad conclusion that
Resolute will not do the minimum that the science says is required to
protect our forests and the threatened caribou that call them home,"
"We believe that Resolute is not meeting its commitments to ensure
caribou survive on the forests it manages. In our opinion, it has so
far proven itself unwilling to strike a balance between its economic
interests and the local survival of a nationally threatened species,"
added Todd Paglia of ForestEthics.
The environmental groups' assessment, based on federal government
science, is that Resolute's forestry plans would severely diminish the
chances that any caribou herds within their tenures will survive after
their logging operations. The federal recovery strategy under the
Species At Risk Act requires that all caribou herds in Canada be
managed to create a minimum likelihood of 60% survival.
All environmental signatories to the CBFA are suspending further work
with Resolute until it can commit to scientifically defensible
conservation plans that would give caribou a reasonable chance of
"The CBFA has proven itself a workable model with companies that honour
their commitments. Last year, signatories announced a joint caribou
action plan for northeastern Ontario that proposed an 8,000 km2 logging-free zone to protect critical caribou habitat and an increase
of wood supply for local mills," adds Sumner.
In Northeast Alberta, signatories supported the establishment of the
proposed Dillon River Wildland Park and the Gipsy-Gordon Wildland Park,
and this month have agreed on an approach for Caribou Action Planning
in the Athabasca and Cold Lake regions. They are now commencing
outreach to Provincial, Aboriginal, municipal and energy sector leaders
to move forward.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was signed in 2010 by all member
companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada and nine
environmental groups. Environmental groups continuing to implement the
CBFA are the Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness
Society, David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Ivey Foundation, The
Nature Conservancy and the International Boreal Conservation Campaign.
For further information:
For more background on the CBFA, visit http://www.canadianborealforestagreement.com/
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