Vital wetland systems in Canada's Boreal Forest conserved
After years of turmoil between industry and conservation organizations, 170 million acres of Canada's Boreal Forest are being protected through the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which was signed May 18 and organized by the Pew Environment Group.
Ducks Unlimited has worked with the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in the past, helping to develop sustainable forestry practices in the Boreal. This agreement will conserve Boreal wetlands, which are critical to nearly 50 percent of North America's waterfowl population.
"This is a monumental step in conservation," said Dale Hall, Ducks Unlimited CEO. "Without the extraordinary leadership of the Pew Environment Group, the largest commercial forest protection agreement in history could never have been achieved. Their bold vision and guidance helped set in motion an agreement that redefines the future of conservation and commercial forestry, and could become a model for forest practices in other parts of the world. We look forward to working with FPAC to make this vision a reality."
The Pew Environment Group works to protect wilderness areas and public lands, both within the United States and around the globe. The group invests in public education and advocacy efforts to mobilize support for protection of some of the world's last great wilderness and forests on public lands.
"The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated," said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of FPAC. "FPAC member companies and their [environmental non-governmental organization] counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head. Together we have identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers of our products' sustainability. It's gratifying to see nearly a decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our operations is culminating in a process that will set a forestry standard that will be the envy of the world."
Canada's Boreal Forest is estimated by scientists to be the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem on the planet, and the Western Boreal is listed as one of DU's top-priority regions. This conservation milestone will ensure that breeding waterfowl have consistent habitat for future generations.
"For years we have helped bring opposing parties together to conserve this global treasure, Canada's [Boreal Forest]," said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign. "We're thrilled that this effort has led to the largest commercial forest conservation plan in history, which could not have happened without both sides looking beyond their differences. As important as today's announcement is, our ultimate success will be measured by how we tackle the work ahead to put this plan into practice."
For more information on the Western Boreal Forest and other DU priority areas, please use the links below.