The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) is about finding a peace between the forest industry and environmental organizations in Canada.
It is the world’s largest conservation initiative. Signed May 10, 2010, this unprecedented Agreement ushered in a new era in conservation and resource management.
In short, the CBFA strives to set a global precedent for boreal forest conservation and forest sector competitiveness.
Current signatories to the CBFA include the Forestry Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and its 19 member companies, and seven leading Canadian environmental non-government organizations. It directly applies to more than 73 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC member companies across Canada.
The Agreement recognizes that although the responsibility for the future of forestry and conservation in Canada’s boreal forest rests primarily with governments, both industry and environmentalists have a duty to help define that future. The CBFA provides both parties with a plan to work towards a stronger, more competitive forestry industry and a better protected, more sustainably managed boreal forest.
It entails a commitment by the environmental groups to stop boycotting the forest companies involved. In return, the companies have suspended logging operations on almost 29 million hectares of boreal forest, which represents virtually all boreal caribou within their operating areas.
The suspension of forestry activities gives the signatories an opportunity to work together on a number of initiatives, including developing action plans for the recovery of caribou in specific areas and producing ecosystem-based management guidelines that participating companies can use to improve their forestry practices.
The process involves multiple stakeholders, including Aboriginal groups, affected communities, and municipal, provincial and federal governments. Once negotiated, these plans are recommended to provincial and Aboriginal governments to incorporate into formal forestry management plans and other on-going public planning processes.
The CBFA is an evergreen agreement that remains in effect until all elements have been implemented.
CBFA work is currently ongoing across the country.