March 21, 2018

International Day of the Forests: A Reason for Pride in Canada

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Did you know that March 21, 2018 is the 6th annual International Day of the Forests as designated by the United Nations? To recognize this important day, here are a few interesting facts about Canada’s international leadership role in forestry:

1. Canada’s forest laws are among the strictest in the world. They protect our forests and ensure that sustainable forest management practices are followed across the country. For example, every tree that is harvested in Canada must be replaced. This means consumers can be confident that the forest and wood products they buy from Canada were obtained legally and harvested under a system of sustainable forest management.

2. Canada boasts nearly 40% of the worlds certified forests, far more than any other country. From Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, the forest sector is benefiting local communities, boosting our economy, helping to advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities and showing us what we can accomplish when working together. 

3. In 2016 Canada harvested less than 0.5% of our harvestable forests. The careful and planned management ensures we can enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits of Canadian forests forever.

4. Canada’s Forest sector is leading the way in bio-economy. In the bio-economy, renewable resources such as wood-fibre are being converted into many types of consumer and industrial products which range from construction materials, auto parts, bioplastics, bio-chemicals and fuel for vehicles and planes. They also provide a way to generate more value from trees while minimizing waste. When used as a substitute for non-renewable materials and energy sources, bio-products can help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions and minimize environmental impacts from industrial operations.

5. Canada’s forest sector is one of the largest employers in the nation. Nearly one million Canadians are employed directly and indirectly in the forest products sector.

6. Canada’s forest sector is one of the largest employers of Indigenous peoples in the country. Nearly 10,000 Indigenous peoples worked in the forest sector in 2016. 

Statistics courtesy of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC).