Resolute has launched an initiative we call the Boreal Forum in Ontario. What is it? It’s an online discussion forum designed to encourage open dialogue among all interested stakeholders in communities where Resolute has boreal forest operations. It’s our view that forest-dependent communities, including First Nations and local governments and stakeholders, must have a say in the industries that sustain them.
The Forum is anchored in a fact-based, third-party review of the state of Ontario’s forests and it has been kick-started by two town halls, hosted by Richard Garneau, in Thunder Bay and Atikokan on November 25th and 26th. It comes on the heels of a similar initiative launched last Spring in Quebec, which was highly successful in encouraging stakeholder input.
Why are we initiating the Forum?
Because Ontario has a great opportunity before it. As the province comes out of the recent recession, companies are reinvesting and demand for forest products is on the rise again.
Ontario’s forests are coming under considerable pressure from many sides, including government policy, changing forest management regimes, changing markets and pressures from environmental activists. While Ontario – and Canada – have long been global leaders in sustainable forest management, we’re at a crossroads in terms of the industry, the health of our forests, and the ability of First Nations and forest communities to support themselves through the sustainable use of their local forest resources.
The time to act is now. Stakeholders whose economic and social well-being depend on the forests around them must make their views and voices heard. If we want to achieve our potential, a balanced approach – one that takes into consideration economic, social and environmental factors – must be restored.
President and Chief Executive Officer