Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, Canada’s forest products industry has been hard at work delivering urgently needed, critical products that are helping Canadians and Americans weather this unprecedented crisis. Our industry is a vital part of supply chains that produce a range of in-demand goods like masks and gowns for the health care sector; packaging for food, pharmaceuticals, and online purchases; and hygiene products like tissue and toilet paper. Because of its important role, the Government of Canada designated the forest sector an essential service, to prevent shortages of key items we need and use every day. Despite the value placed on our products, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S.-based lobby group, has chosen this time to release a report critical of Canada’s forest sector. Regrettably, this report misrepresents our industry and makes numerous false claims and accusations. It states, for example, that toilet paper production is putting the boreal forests at risk. In reality, forest products from Canada’s boreal region can be counted among the most responsibly made in the world.
Today marks the first day of PEFC Forest Certification Week 2016, the one week in the year when the whole PEFC family from around the world gathers together to discuss not only the future of the organization but the future of forest certification.
“This year we came to the vibrant island of Bali, which has already made us feel very welcome,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, on eve of PEFC Week. “We are all looking forward to a challenging but inspirational week, which will culminate in the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue.”
Perhaps the highlight of the week, the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue is when we open up PEFC Week to the public, focusing in on some of the key issues and future opportunities for both forest certification and sustainable forest management.
This year’s theme “Sustainable Landscapes for Sustainable Livelihoods” brings together experts from numerous different backgrounds and specializations to debate how forest sustainable forestry and forest certification can contribute beyond traditional boundaries to accelerate sustainable development.
With the world’s global leaders meeting in Marrakech at the same time, it is the perfect time for us to explore how, together, we can amplify the essential role that forests and trees play in providing solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges.