Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets to discuss climate action. The 24th annual Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC took place last month in Katowice, Poland, and the resulting “Forests for Climate” Katowice Ministerial Declaration highlights the vital role of the forest products industry in fighting climate change.
Among the points contained in the Declaration:
- Forests provide goods, resources and materials with a smaller carbon footprint, such as harvested wood products.
- Sustainable forest management contributes to nature conservation and is a keystone in achieving balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks.
- Climate change is affecting forests, under certain circumstances, as a result of natural disasters, leading to increased emissions, affecting the carbon storage capacity of forests, and underlining the need to increase the capacity of forests to adapt to climate change.
In a statement expressing support for the UNFCCC declaration, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) reiterated some key facts about sustainable forest management in Canada:
- In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, forests have an important role to play in the sequestration and storage of carbon in the soil, trees and other vegetation, as well as providing products that store carbon.
- The Canadian forest products sector provides 230,000 direct family-supporting jobs in some over 600 forestry communities across the country.
- Forest management in Canada is governed by rules and regulations that are among the most stringent in the world. Canada’s forestry professionals consider conservation measures as part of their forest management plans, taking into account multiple species, watersheds, wetlands, pest management, fire risks, and climate change impacts as they plan harvesting activities.
- Canada’s forest sector has voluntarily reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 66% in 30 years, and prides itself in being among the best in the world in how we manage our forests.
It is clearer than ever that forests and forest management plays a critical part in meeting global climate change targets. We are proud to operate in an industry that is committed to reducing our environmental footprint and operating sustainably.