Biodiversity is the variety of all living things; the different plants, animals and organisms that make up an ecosystem, how they interact, and the genetic information they contain. It’s an intricate balance, one that supports all life on earth, and one that is under threat from habitat loss and a rapidly-changing climate.
With the projected rate of climate change expected to be 10 to 100 times faster than the ability of our forests to adapt naturally, we need to be working with nature to help our biodiverse forests adapt to changing climate conditions. As disturbances like fire, pest and disease become more frequent and severe as a result of climate change, active forest management can actually preserve biodiversity and help our forests build resiliency. For example: modern methods of harvesting are often intended to mimic natural disturbances to both minimize the effect of human intervention while mitigating the severity of climate change impacts. Our sector is also exploring new forest management strategies that regenerate harvested areas with trees that are better adapted to warming temperatures and future climate conditions. And new technologies converting the decay and debris that often exacerbate fire and disease into bioenergy will not only reduce catastrophic risk to our forests but reduce our own carbon footprint while we’re in them.
If human intervention seems counter to the concept of preserving biodiversity consider this: With climate change moving faster than our forests’ ability to adapt naturally, we need to act to protect our most valuable climate change asset. Backed by some of the world’s toughest and well-enforced provincial and federal regulatory frameworks and independently certified against recognized sustainable forest management standards, Canadians can be assured that Canada’s certified professional foresters are doing just that.
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