Forest Products Association of Canada

In the Boreal



The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) was the world’s largest conservation initiative and set a global precedent for integrating economic and environmental values. The CBFA’s main goal was to ensure a sustainable future for Canada’s boreal forest, the forestry industry and all those whose livelihoods depend on the industry.

Signed by the Forestry Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and its 18 member companies, and six leading Canadian environmental organizations, the CBFA yielded numerous collaborative outcomes. Highlights included a Caribou Action Planning framework now being used to support joint planning for woodland caribou in several regions across Canada, as well as progress on world-leading sustainable forest management practices across the country.


The CBFA had six goals:

1. Implement world-leading sustainable forest management practices.

2. Accelerate the completion of the protected spaces network for the boreal forest.

3. Fast-track plans to protect boreal forest species at risk, particularly woodland caribou.

4. Take action on climate change as it relates to forest conservation.

5. Increase the prosperity of the Canadian forest sector and communities that rely on it.

6. Promote and publicize the environmental performance of the participating companies.


Partnerships for Sustainability
The Agreement recognized that although the responsibility for the future of forestry and conservation in Canada’s boreal forest rests primarily with governments, the forest industry and environmentalists are key to helping define that future. The CBFA provided both parties with a forum for working towards a stronger, more competitive forestry industry and a better protected, more sustainably managed boreal forest.



The CBFA applied to more than 73 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC member companies across Canada. (Map: Steven Fick/Canadian Geographic)


Next Steps: Ongoing Partnerships

The CBFA entailed a commitment by the six environmental groups to stop boycotting the signatory forest companies. In return, the companies suspended logging operations on almost 29 million hectares of boreal forest. This pause gave the signatories time to collaborate on key initiatives. These included action plans for the recovery of caribou in specific areas and ecosystem-based management guidelines to help participating companies improve their forestry practices. The collaborative process also involved many other stakeholders, including Indigenous groups, affected communities and municipal, provincial and federal governments.

The CBFA will be replaced by a new model that is true the spirit of the CBFA. This model will build on the work the CBFA started and will allow participants to expand the work urgently required to fight climate change and to build on Canada’s world-leading reputation in sustainably managed forestry. FPAC and the other CBFA signatories will take a more inclusive approach: they will involve more communities, Indigenous groups and environmental organizations. They will also make their forest science and forest management planning more efficient and effective.

Leveraging the scientific studies and decision-making frameworks developed through the CBFA, the new model will continue work on species at risk, protected areas and world-leading ecosystem-based forestry practices. It will also foster a large number of research projects to help the forest industry achieve its aggressive carbon reduction commitments.