WASKESIU LAKE, SK , Aug. 15, 2019 (Press Release) -At the close of the 2019 annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) in Northern Saskatchewan, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced its support for the Ministers’ commitment to work together to promote Canadian forestry and forest products to the country and the world.
FPAC President and CEO Derek Nighbor, who joined the CCFM delegation this week in Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan said he was pleased with the discussions and outcomes from this week’s meetings.
“This was definitely one of the best meetings of forestry ministers from across Canada that I have attended in recent years,” Nighbor said. “There was a real focus on the big picture. How can we better use forest management to fight climate change? How can we more actively manage our forests in and around communities to keep people safe from wildfires? How can wood fibre-based products address our single use plastics challenge? These are the things we need our governments focused on if we’re going to help our environment and support much-needed jobs in forestry communities,” Nighbor added.
Specifically, Canada’s forestry ministers agreed on a few key initiatives:
- To further collaborate to promote the environmental reputation of the forest sector and further position Canada as a world leader in sustainable forest management and environmental stewardship.
- To advance a whole-of-government approach to wildland fire management.
- To implement the Council’s Forest Bioeconomy Framework for Canada, with a report expected at their next meeting.
- Ministers discussed softwood lumber, reaffirming the importance of a coordinated approach to support and defend Canada’s forest sector.
- Innovation across the forest sector remains at the core of Council discussions.
“Canada is among the best in the world in how carefully and responsibly we manage our forests. Despite this Canadian advantage, Canada tends to be a soft target for global activists who spread misinformation in an effort to shut down forestry operations,” Nighbor said. “At the backdrop of media reports this week of a possible global recession looming, I was very pleased to see Ministers prepared to stand up for the values of Canadian forestry and the men and women who rely on our sector to pay the rent or mortgage and provide for their families,” Nighbor added.
The CCFM was established in 1985 to help federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together on common concerns relating to the forest sector. The CCFM provides leadership on national and international issues, and sets direction for the stewardship and sustainable management of forests in Canada. The 2020 CCFM meeting will be hosted by the Northwest Territories.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $73.6-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.