Conservation Forestry - Careful Use of Canada's Forest Resources

Submitted by Climate Risk Institute | published 21st Dec 2022 | last updated 18th Jan 2023
Cover Page of Conservation Forestry Report

Forest Products Association of Canada's Conservation Report

Summary

This resource was submitted by the Climate Risk Institute for the Forestry Adaptation Community of Practice. 

This article is an abridged version of the original text, which can be downloaded from the right-hand column. Please access the original text for more detail, research purposes, full references, or to quote text.

Canadians rely on their forests to provide many benefits including clean air and water, food and medicine, carbon sequestration and storage, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, recreation, renewable and climate friendly products, and green jobs. This report highlights the many ways that conservation serves as a core principle of sustainable forest management in Canada, so that forests will remain healthy and resilient and continue to support and enrich the lives of Canadians for many generations. The report also outlines the contributions of Canada’s forest sector to the conservation of our forests and our planet.

Within the managed forest, only approximately half of the forest area (on a percentage basis) is eligible for commercial harvesting and renewal over time, while the other half that is subject to various conservation measures, is not. This is a direct outcome of a rigorous forest management planning process that incorporates the rights and views of Indigenous communities, as well as the perspectives of the public and various local stakeholders. It is also a result of federal, provincial and territorial regulatory regimes and voluntary practices (e.g., forest management certification) designed to provide for a wide array of values including wildlife habitat and the maintenance of ecosystem function across the land base.

Forests are dynamic. Many forest ecosystems rely on natural disturbances, often at the landscape scale, for renewal, providing heterogeneity across the landscape. In areas where natural disturbances are suppressed (e.g., the managed forest), actively managing the land base promotes structural diversity at the landscape scale, fostering the maintenance of habitat for a wide range of species. Managing forests also helps to mitigate, to an extent, the risks associated with natural disturbances, and improves carbon sequestration rates on the land base.

Canada is a world leader in sustainable forest management, and we are well-placed to ensure that our forests remain healthy and resilient while continuing to provide Canadians with the products and values we rely on, both now and in the future.