Canadian Forestry Can Save The World explores what’s happening in Canada’s forests and the critical role they play in our collective fight against climate change. We talk to the experts who are leading the charge in efforts to advance sustainability in the forest sector and the innovators who are using this renewable resource to bring new climate technologies to market, all while debunking some of the common misconceptions about the sector.
In Our Own Backyard
What do wildfires, housing and climate change all have in common? Aside from being among our most pressing challenges, they’re all things a sustainable forest sector can play a role in solving. Welcome back to Season 2 of Canadian Forestry Can Save The World, the podcast that explores what’s actually going on in our forests and the role they can play in supporting a more sustainable future. In Season 2, we’ll dive deep into the innovations that are poised to truly take forestry to the next level when it comes to creatively solving some of our most pressing challenges, but before we do, we take a look back at what we learned last season about the values, practices, and people that underwrite all that potential by ensuring that Canadian forestry is sustainable forestry. We’ll also talk to David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, to better understand what Canadians want to see from our forest sector and kind of solutions they’re looking for.
Wildfires & Fighting Fire with Fire
In 2023, wildfires ravaged Canada’s forests, consuming over 16.5 million hectares of land, twice the previous record set in 1989 and over 6.5 times the national average of area affected. So what can be done? This week we’ll talk with Mike Morrow, a Wildfire Prevention Officer with the BC Wildfire Service and Jen Beverly, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Alberta, about the reality of what’s happening on the ground and the practices that can help mitigate the severity of wildfires. We also talk to Dr. Jamie Stephen of Torchlight Bioresources about how the timber produced from thinning can be used to fuel a promising new energy source: biomass.
The ‘Other Half of the Log’
We know trees are used to produce the lumber that will help us build more homes, but have you ever wondered what becomes of the bark, wood chips and branches leftover after a harvest? This week, we explore how the adoption of a zero-waste approach can help fuel our future economy — in some cases, literally. From forest companies like Resolute salvaging biomass out of areas affected by wildfires to LP Solutions creating more sustainable options for home-building, zero-waste innovations in Canada’s forest sector are maximizing the potential of one of Canada’s most renewable resources.
Reducing Our Reliance on Fossil Fuels
Last week we looked at how companies like Resolute Forest Products are adopting a zero-waste approach to power their operations and reduce their carbon emissions. But what if it was possible to scale that innovation to help other sectors decarbonize? Or better yet, to power an entire town? This week, we look into a future that is actually playing out in the present, with towns like New Glasgow, Nova Scotia and Thunder Bay, Ontario turning to Canada’s forest sector to build energy resiliency and affordability in their communities.
Welcome To The Forest
What do we mean when we say Canadian Forestry Can Save The World? In this inaugural episode we dive into that question while debunking some of the most common misconceptions about the sector. We talk with foresters Lacey Rose and Paul LeBlanc about what movies like Fern Gully got wrong and how cutting down trees — contrary to the lessons of The Lorax — can actually help build resiliency and increase our forests’ capacity to combat climate change. We’ll hear from Derek Nighbor, the President of the Forest Products Association of Canada, about how innovative forest products are helping to grow a greener economy, and from Kerry McLaven and Peter Moonen about how some of the world’s most sustainable forestry practices are happening right here at home.
What does it mean to actually manage a forest sustainably, and why does it matter? In this episode, we talk with Jenny Tallman, the Chief Forester at Interfor, about what goes in to a sustainable forest management plan and the level of detail, planning and consultation that occurs before a single tree is harvested. We then talk to Peter Moonen, National Sustainability Manager with the Canadian Wood Council, about what comes out — the impact that sustainably-sourced wood products can have on everything from construction to consumer goods to carbon emissions.
Shel Silverstein's 1973 book The Giving Tree teaches us that trees can give us a lot over the course of their life. But the story of a single tree never really ends; from the seeds it sows, to the homes it builds, a single tree continues to give back long after it’s left the forest. In this episode, we’ll reconnect with Jenny Tallman and Lacey Rose to talk more about regeneration and renewal and hear from Kerry McLaven, the CEO of Forest Gene Conservation Association about the critical role seeds and trees adapted to future climate conditions will play to help build resiliency in our forests. We’ll also hear from Jacob Handel, the Senior Director for Indigenous Relations at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, on how third-party certification in our forests supports both regeneration and the sale of more sustainable consumer products.
The Force Of Fire
Fire has long been a natural part of the forest lifecycle, and our foresters respect that, using both it, and innovative harvesting techniques, to reduce the likelihood that a more catastrophic wildfire breaks out. In this episode, we talk with Amy Cardinal Christianson about how prescribed burns have long been part of traditional forest management practices, while Paul Leblanc, a district forester from Manitoba, tells us how those practices have been adapted into modern forestry techniques. We speak with Landon Shepard about the natural role of fire in a forest’s lifecycle while Steve Kouzouki sheds light on how a cartoon bear shifted forestry practices and policy away from harnessing this natural force for an entire generation.
In this episode, Rob Keen, the CEO of Forests Ontario sits down with Matt from Nova Scotia, Allison from BC, and Candace from Ontario at the kitchen table to dispel some of the most common misconceptions about forestry practices in Canada while talking about the role sustainably-sourced wood products can play in helping Canadians make more climate-conscious choices.
Forest Product Innovation
Everyone knows that as a forest grows trees absorb and store carbon. But what happens to that carbon when the trees that captured it leave the forest? In this episode, we talk with Sindhu Mahadevan, the Head of R&D at Michael Green Architecture and Nick Milestone at Mercer Mass Timber about how innovations in mass timber are not only changing the face of the construction industry but changing how we think about building more sustainable communities as part of collective race against the climate change clock. Tune in to learn more about how mass timber construction can help move the carbon-storing capacity of our forests into our cities and the leading role Canadian forestry will play in this innovative climate solution.
Canada is a country founded on forestry, but what comes next for one our most storied sectors? This week, we talk with Faye Johnson, a retired professional forester and CEO of the Temagami Forest Management Corporation and Laird Van Damne, an adjunct professor at Lakehead University about the role forestry played in the founding of our country and where the sector — with its incredible climate action potential — goes from here. Tune in to learn more about the policy and perspectives needed to maximize the potential of Canada’s ultimate carbon sink — our forests.
The Spirit Of The Forest
We know sustainable forestry has a critical role to play in the collective fight against climate change, but what about its role in advancing economic reconciliation? When we think about a Just Transition, the two ideas are inextricably linked. This week, we talk with JP Gladu, the founder of Mokwateh and Albert Gerow of Strategies 360 about the role Indigenous knowledge, stewardship, ownership and equity will play in creating a more sustainable, equitable future for forestry.
Forestry Innovations Fuel Canada’s Emerging Bio Economy
Over the last few episodes we’ve explored the place Canada’s forests occupy in our history and the role they play today in our everyday lives. This week, we’re joined by Monique Frison, the Director General of the Trade, Economics, and Industry Branch of Canadian Forest Service at Natural Resources Canada and Mahima Sharma, the Director of Environment, Innovation and Mill Regulations at the Forest Products Association of Canada, to talk about what comes next — what role can Canada’s sustainably-managed forests play in the growing greener, more inclusive economy?
The International Bioeconomy
In Episode 9, we explored the myriad ways Canada’s sustainably-managed forest sector can help grow a greener economy. This week, we’re joined by Virginie Chambost and Dr. Peter Holmgren, expert advisors on the emerging bioeconomy, to look at how other countries have actualized their forest’s full climate change potential and policy pathways needed for Canada to do the same.
Canadian Forestry And The Coalition For A Better Future
As Season One of the Canadian Forestry Can Save The World podcast draws to a close, we sit down with Rosemary Thompson, the Executive Director at The Coalition For A Better Future, and Derek Nighbor, the CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada to discuss how forestry fits into a more sustainable future and the benchmarks needed to assess our success in combatting climate and growing a greener economy.
Building Social License
In our final episode, we’re joined by Velma McColl, Shawn McCarthy, Eric Miller and Paul Robitaille — communicators and community organizers — as we explore the role of social license in a sustainable forest sector. What can forestry do for our communities? And what’s needed to ensure it can? How can we, as a country, actualize the considerable potential of Canada’s forest sector in a way balances competing priorities and builds towards a more sustainable future?
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