Release of National Forest Strategy accomplishments report

11/07/05



OTTAWA – A new report on initiatives taken to further sustainable forest management in Canada is now available.

The National Forest Strategy Coalition has just released a report on its accomplishments from 2003 to 2005. These include the establishment of a national council to coordinate and enhance research and development efforts among government and industry; new strategies for dealing with forest threats, such as insects, fire and climate change; and collaborative efforts to advance boreal forest conservation. These are just a few of the achievements of Canada's diverse forest community featured in the report, entitled Highlights of Accomplishments: Two Years of Progress–Advancing the National Forest Strategy (2003-2008).

"This report on the forest community's activities gives us many reasons to be proud in Canada and internationally," said Jean Cinq-Mars, Chair of the National Forest Strategy Coalition. "It shows the value of a diverse, national partnership approach, and the way we ensure the quality of life in our communities through a healthy environment and continued economic prosperity."

The spirit of cooperation among Canadians finds no greater expression than in Canada's National Forest Strategy. It is the overarching national action plan that guides forest policy, science and program initiatives in Canada, and helps address priority issues in the forest sector. It is implemented across Canada through the determined actions of governments, Aboriginal organizations, the timber industry, non-timber forest product organizations, academia, research institutes, the recreation and tourism industry, forest practitioners, private woodlot owners, and environmental groups.

"I am impressed by the Coalition's achievements. This work builds partnerships in Canada and abroad, and advances sustainable forest management," said the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Natural Resources. "It also helps raise awareness of the strengths of the Canadian forest community and its economic, social and environmental value to all Canadians."

The Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Northwest Territories Minister of Environment and Natural Resources and Chair of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, the trustee of the National Forest Strategy, agrees. "Our collaboration is essential to maintaining and enhancing the long-term health of Canada's forest, and is key to building the Canada we want for ourselves and for future generations," said Minister Miltenberger.

Mr. Andy Neigel, General Manager and Vice President of Operations, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., says responsible forest management can help companies stay on top in a globally competitive forest industry. "Implementing sustainable forest management practices can result in significant international recognition such as Forest Stewardship Council certification, which can increase Canada's competitiveness in the global marketplace."

As the National Forest Strategy Coalition's report emphasizes, the activities that have taken place in the first two years of implementation are the building blocks the country needs to provide environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits for years to come. The Accomplishments report is available on the Web at http://nfsc.forest.ca.

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