More Work to Be Done on Funding and Leveraging Forest Management Solutions
Earlier today in Vancouver, the federal government released its long-awaited National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes this leadership, and President and CEO, Derek Nighbor, issued the following statement:
“As we approach the end of June, Canada’s 2023 wildfire season has already inflicted record-breaking devastation in dozens of rural and northern forested communities across the country.
For context, the over 7.2 million hectares burned to date represents roughly 10 times the amount of forested land that Canada’s Registered Professional Foresters sustainably harvest and renew in an entire year.
In its June 2022 National Issues Report, Natural Resources Canada noted the important role that Canada’s forest sector and its workers play in mitigating the risk of fires across the country. Recognizing it is going to take a whole of society approach to adapt to our changing climate, FPAC will continue to work on behalf of Canada’s forest sector with Climate Proof Canada – a coalition of experts from industry, the municipal sector, Indigenous organizations, environmental groups, and research organizations. Through this collaboration we will continue to support the federal government’s efforts to improve on emergency preparedness and build a more disaster-resilient country.
FPAC is keen to see today’s strategy and action plan take some further steps and we are committed to working with the federal government on a number of additional fire risk mitigation priorities, including:
• Ensuring the National Adaptation Strategy has clearer links to its Wildland Fire Strategy and that the federal government works closely with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers on execution of this plan.
• Encouraging the federal government to fund Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments in and around forested communities and improve fire shed mapping.
• Supporting municipalities and Indigenous communities so they have the necessary funds and tools to fire-proof their communities, including using measures like thinning and prescribed burns.
• Accelerating growth and investment in Canada’s forest bioeconomy so we can develop new markets for low grade wood and remove dead and decaying wood from our forests to improve forest health and reduce fuel loads."
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $75B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 225,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country. FPAC and its members are committed to collaborating with Indigenous leaders, federal and provincial governments, labour partners, community groups, and other rightsholders and stakeholders to secure and advance the sector’s environmental, social, and economic potential for the long-term.