Canada’s Forests are Getting Healthier
Despite the doom-and-gloom rhetoric often used by some environmentalist groups, Canada’s natural environment is actually becoming cleaner and greener over time. Happily, Canada is doing an excellent job of protecting its forests. The strength of Canada’s record, particularly in recent years, is illustrated by the rapid growth in the forest land certified as sustainably managed by international third-party organizations. Third-party certification by any of the three internationally recognized certification systems requires forest areas to be managed according to strict sustainability criteria, such as a high level of biological diversity and ecosystem resilience.
· Canada went from having almost no internationally certified forestland at the start of the decade to 146-million hectares at the end of 2008.
· Canada now has more total area of certified forest than any other nation. In fact, 40 per cent of all the certified forest area in the world is in Canada.
· As a result of its sustainable forest practices, Canada has seen no reduction in its total area of forest cover over the past decade. Canada’s total forest cover has held steady at an enormous 310 million hectares, representing one third of the Canadian land mass.
Canada has the third largest total amount of forest cover in the world. Furthermore, Canada is the largest exporter of forest products in the world, and forestry is an important component of our national economy. Prudent stewardship of our forests is important both for ecological reasons, and to ensure the long-term viability of the forestry industry, which employs approximately three per cent of the Canadian labour force.
Source: Canadian Sustainable Forestry Certification Coalition.