As forest fires continue to rage across many parts of the country, today’s release of the federal government’s National Adaptation Strategy Consultation Report is timely and very much welcomed by Canada’s forest sector and its workers.
“In recent weeks, Canadians have seen the ongoing fires that have had devastating impacts on communities throughout the country. If that’s not a call to action about the need to get serious about climate resiliency and adaptation, I don’t know what is,” said Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) President and CEO Derek Nighbor.
In addition to tabling the report, the federal government has committed to finalizing a National Adaptation Strategy by next fall.
Canada’s world-leading commitment to sustainable forest management is rooted in supporting forest health and keeping forests as forests forever. This places Canada’s forest sector in a unique position to provide solutions to help Canada build a national adaptation action plan that works.
In its National Issues Report, released in late June, Natural Resources Canada recognized the important role that Canada’s forest sector and its workers play in mitigating the risk of fires across the country. We do this through early detection of pest outbreaks and drought conditions and by actively managing forests that face fire risks. Canada’s foresters also adjust harvesting schedules to favour older and insect-damaged stands and use regeneration planning and other nature-based solutions to support healthy and resilient forests and forest ecosystems.
“Managing our forests is critically important in a changing climate. In many ways, our workers are on the front line of defense as forest conditions change. As over 90% of our sector works on lands under provincial government laws and regulations, it is important that the federal government work closely with the provinces to capitalize on forestry’s many solutions,” Nighbor said.
To advance forestry’s potential contributions to a national strategy, FPAC is an active member of Climate Proof Canada – a coalition of industry groups, municipal representatives, Indigenous organizations, environmental groups, and research organizations encouraging the federal government to take action to create a culture of preparedness and to build a more disaster-resilient country.
“Canadian forestry welcomes the opportunity to do our part so that Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy sets clear targets and performance measures for action that will better protect Canadians and Canadian jobs from climate-related threats like drought, pest outbreaks, wildfires, and floods,” Nighbor added.
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. As an industry with annual revenues exceeding $80B, Canada’s forest products sector is one of the country’s largest employers operating in over 600 communities, providing 230,000 direct jobs, and over 600,000 indirect jobs across the country.