– Labels the Film a Strong and Urgent Call to Action for Sustainable Management of World’s Forests –

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today expressed support for Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary, The 11th Hour.  Although not yet released in Canada, promotional materials and statements indicate that the film will highlight the importance of maintaining and enhancing the world’s forest cover in mitigating the impact of climate change.

“There is absolutely no question that the world’s forests are a precious resource that requires enormous care and management,” said Jean-Pierre Martel, Senior Vice President, Sustainability at FPAC. “Recent United Nations reports on the state of the world’s forests concluded that globally, deforestation accounts for about 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; and that Canada, one of the world’s largest and most successful forest products nations, has a deforestation rate of zero, primarily because Canada is committed to sustainable forest management, recycling, and sound environmental performance.  If all countries of the world could eliminate or virtually eliminate deforestation as Canada has done, this would have an impact comparable to eliminating fossil emissions in the United States in terms of advancing GHG mitigation efforts. ”

“Canadians can be proud of Canada’s forest management practices which are recognized as world leading,” continued Martel. “However, more needs to be done globally to ensure that important ecosystems are properly cared for. The mountain pine beetle epidemic serves as an important reminder of how vulnerable Canada’s – and the world’s – ecosystems are to a changing climate. In this context, The 11th Hour draws much needed attention to the importance of the world’s forests to the climate in a global context”.

Promotional material and press material relating to The 11th Hour has already elevated the climate change discussion to a more macro level, highlighting the relationship between society and nature, focusing on the importance of living in balance and the need for society – including individuals, industry and policy makers – to take action.

“As concluded in recent reports by Sir Nicholas Stern and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, properly managing the world’s forests is probably the most significant climate change-related step humans could undertake to improve the world’s climate,” concluded Martel. “Canada’s forest products industry is proud to have championed sustainable forest management and be an active partner in international dialogue on forest sustainability issues. For example, the industry strongly supports measures being undertaken under United Nations auspices to devise means of reducing rates of tropical deforestation as part of a post-2012 successor to the Kyoto Protocol. FPAC has also joined other leading international stakeholder groups in the global forest community in support of initiatives aimed at reducing deforestation, eliminating illegal logging and improving sustainable forest management practices worldwide.” 

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 is an $80 billion dollar a year industry that represents 3% of Canada’s GDP.  The industry is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in over 320 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country.

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For more information:

Isabelle Des Chênes
Director, Communications
Forest Products Association of Canada
(613) 563-1441 ext : 323