Wetlands and waterfowl in Canada’s boreal forest will be the beneficiaries of a new program launched by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and forestry sector leaders.
The partnership is a visionary approach to sharing knowledge and resources to advance sustainable forest management and wetland stewardship in the boreal forest, an area that offers one of the greatest conservation opportunities in the world.
Under the ‘Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative’, the partners will work collaboratively on priority projects that integrate wetland and waterfowl conservation into ongoing forest management planning and field operations. The coalition will establish wetland conservation guiding principles and best management practices. These will support companies in achieving their forest management objectives and help them meet the criteria for forest certification programs.
“We all benefit from the boreal forest and its network of wetlands,’’ says Kevin Smith, DUC national boreal programs manager. “Boreal wetlands filter the largest surface area of freshwater on the planet, trapping sediments and pollutants while supplying clean water for communities.”
Partners in the three-year initiative include Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Canfor, the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser Company.
“We are pleased to work with this important industry sector to strengthen wetland stewardship in this region,” added Smith. “By taking an innovative and collaborative approach, we will be able to achieve shared goals for a landscape that supports both a healthy economy and abundant wildlife habitat.”
“When it comes to conservation in the boreal forest, many hands can make positive change happen,” said Weyerhaeuser’s Canadian forest stewardship manager, Wendy Crosina, who was a strong advocate for the launch of the initiative.
“In a challenging economy, organizations have to think carefully about how to advance their commitment to environmental performance and achieve their goals with limited resources. By working together with DUC, the forestry sector partners can do more for the environment than each company working alone,” said Crosina. “It’s a win-win.”
“This collaborative commitment between Ducks Unlimited and our members is another positive step in ensuring that a healthy wildlife and economy can be achieved together,” added FPAC CEO, Derek Nighbor.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. www.ducks.ca
FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $65-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers, operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.