How can Canada’s forest sector support a more sustainable future?
Whether it’s reducing our sector’s emissions, helping our forests retain their carbon capture potential, growing our green economy, or providing environmentally friendly alternatives to the products Canadians use every day, we’re doing our part to support a net-zero carbon future.
explore sustainable forestry
There’s a lot to know about Canadian Forestry and how its contributing to our country’s climate goals.
get to know canada's forest sector
Sustainable forestry is more than just harvesting at sustainable rates. The Montreal Process Working Group — formed in 1994 to develop and implement internationally agreed-upon criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests — defines the term as “a dynamic and evolving concept, intended to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental value of all types of forests, for the benefit of present and future generations".
Put plainly: It’s ensuring we have a long-term plan to keep our forests healthy while recognizing and realizing the economic and environmental value of the world’s most renewable resource. And Canada is a leader in doing both.
Since 1990, less than 0.5% of Canada’s forests have been lost to deforestation, and we harvest less than 1% of forests designated for harvesting per year while replanting between 400 and 600 million seedlings annually, all while promoting the wildlife habitats, biodiversity and water protection that will help keep our forests as forests forever. These practices not only help our forests retain their carbon-capture potential but, in providing environmentally friendly alternatives to the products and resources Canadians use every day, sustainably-sourced wood products have the potential to address one of the most significant social and economic challenges of our time: climate change.
Canada is a leader in sustainable forest management. Not only do we have some of the strictest federal and provincial regulations, but Canada leads the world in forest certification, managing 36% of the world’s certified forests, more than twice the area certified in any other country. These voluntary standards include commitments to reforestation, promoting wildlife habitats, biodiversity and water protection, and add a layer of validation so Canadians know that we’re doing our part to keep our forests as forests forever.
Everyone knows that as a forest grows trees absorb and store carbon. But As trees age they become susceptible to natural disturbances such as fire, pest outbreaks and disease that can release CO2 and other GHGs back into the atmosphere. Though these disturbances are normal in the forest, they are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of climate change, turning our forests from climate change assets into liabilities.
That’s where our sector comes in. When we manage our forests through carefully planned harvesting and replanting, we remove the decay and debris that can accelerate these natural disturbances and strengthen our forests capacity to store carbon for another generation. What’s more, because carbon stays locked in wood products long after trees leave the forest, sustainably-sourced wood products can create the renewable biofuels, fibres and sustainably-sourced everyday products we need to reduce our carbon footprint and power our country towards a cleaner, greener economy.
As carbon captured over a tree’s lifetime stays locked inside the wood, sustainably-harvested wood products continue to represent a carbon storing solution long after they leave the forest and can provide more environmentally-friendly alternatives to materials and products with a heavier carbon footprint.
Innovation in our sector also has the potential to help; as climate change and global warming become more urgent, Canada’s forest sector is exploring new ways to solve the challenge of delivering sustainable energy by converting wood waste into the bioenergy that can help reduce our country’s reliance on fossil fuels.
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Join thousands of Canadians coming together to support Canada’s sustainable forest sector and learn more about what we’re doing to support a net-zero carbon future.