• Fri. May 14th, 2021

Canadian forestry companies in U.S. environmental group’s report say criticisms oversimplified, misleading | CBC News


Apr 15, 2021

Three of the biggest forestry corporations working in northwestern Ontario say a U.S.-based environmental group’s criticisms of logging practices in Ontario and Quebec are oversimplified and deceptive.

A report launched this month by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a world non-profit, mentioned its evaluation is predicated on wooden sourcing by mills for 3 corporations — Resolute Forest Products, Domtar and Aditya Birla Group.

The report claims the businesses are overharvesting, and never defending woodland caribou or contemplating local weather change of their operations.

But among the main gamers within the business mentioned the report is flawed.

For occasion, Bonny Skene, an Ontario-based regional public affairs supervisor with Domtar, mentioned in an announcement: “We operate in a province and country with a robust and rigorous sustainable forest management framework.

“Over-and-above these rigorous necessities, we voluntarily subscribe to 2 third-party certification techniques for sustainability — Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).”

Courtenay Lewis, manager of the Canada Project, said forestry companies cited in the NRDC report determined “corporations usually are not harvesting from Canada’s boreal forest, with sustainable safeguards in place.”

“In a world the place among the core environmental values are in decline and indicator species are classed in lots of locations, we’d like to consider different fashions.”

Anthony Swift, NRDC’s director of the Canada Project, said the group would like to see all forest companies source fibre from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forests, undertake more consultation with Indigneous communities, and use only previously logged areas of the boreal forest.

Report doesn’t give First Nation partners ‘credit’

However, Aditya Birla, which operates a mill in Terrace Bay, Ont., said the NRDC report is “deceptive.”

“It additionally clearly doesn’t give our First Nation companions credit score for the numerous  accomplishments which have been made within the final variety of years when it comes to First Nation direct forest administration of Crown land in Ontario, and notably our area the place it is rather sturdy,” said Mike O’Blenis, president of AVG Canada, the Canadian branch of mill owner Aditya Birla.

Some major companies involved in forestry in northwestern Ontario say the NRDC report oversimplifies logging in the province. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)

O’Blenis said three-quarters of its fibre comes from FSC-certified Crown forests, while all its wood is FSC chain-of-custody certified. Seventy-three per cent of its fibre comes from First Nations-managed Crown forest, he said, meaning First Nations own the management company responsible for that forest unit.

The NRDC also said the province should change its regulations, to put the environment at the forefront of all its decisions, and put a higher priority on keeping the boreal forest intact.

In a statement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded to the report by saying: “We know that for Ontario’s forest business to stay sturdy and vibrant in the long run, we have to make sure that the province’s Crown forests stay wholesome, various and productive.

“Ontario’s rigorous forest management planning process begins with considerations of what we must protect.”

For over 20 years, the ministry mentioned, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) has supplied for the sustainable administration of Ontario’s Crown forests “in a manner that must have regard for plant life, animal life (including species at risk), water, soil, air and social and economic values.”

Resolute Forest Products, which is headquartered in Montreal and operates a number of mills, together with in Thunder Bay, Ont., mentioned it responded to NRDC’s issues over its forestry practices, however lots of these views weren’t included within the ultimate submission.

“Resolute follows numerous protocols to ensure appropriate consultation with Indigenous communities,” mentioned Seth Kursman, vice-president of communications with Resolute.

“This includes complying with provincial and territorial forest laws, regulations, and policies that require Indigenous interests be considered and respected.

“Both SFI and FSC forest administration requirements embody necessities for Indigenous engagement, session, relations and respect of rights.”

Kursman said Resolute sources over 90 per cent of its fibre from sustainably managed and certified forests, with all wood certified in the chain of custody protocols.

“Ecosystem-based administration mimics pure disturbances and ends in better long-term carbon storage than not harvesting,” said Kursman. “Trees which can be mature or over-mature are extra susceptible to being destroyed by pure disturbances like fireplace and bugs.

“Climate change only increases these risks. Harvesting mature or over-mature trees reduces these risks significantly, creates the conditions necessary for regeneration and allows additional carbon to be stored within long-lived forest products like lumber and books.”

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