2011: International Year of Forests
Jan. 3, 2011, Ottawa – Canada's forest products industry is entering the International Year of Forests with a return to profitability and a growing demand for its lumber, pulp, and specialized papers produced from well-managed forests.
Jan. 3, 2011, Ottawa – Recognized globally
for its unmatched environmental leadership, Canada's forest products industry
is entering the International Year of Forests with a return to profitability
and a growing demand for its lumber, pulp, and specialized papers produced from
well-managed forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the
International Year of Forests to raise awareness of sustainable forest
management, conservation, and sustainable development of all types of forests.
"Our industry's environmental
leadership is known worldwide," says Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of the
Forest Products Association of Canada. "In 2010, we signed the Canadian
Boreal Forest Agreement, the largest conservation agreement of its kind in
history. We're adopting the most sophisticated technology in sawmilling and
migrating to a biorefinery model on the pulp and paper side. The industry has
also been innovating to extract more value from every tree such as energy,
chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, and as such is becoming a player in the new
With virtually zero deforestation, more
protected forest, and more third-party certified forest than any other country,
and some of the toughest forestry regulations in the world, Canada's forest
industry is second to none when it comes to environmental stewardship.
"We're on track to become the envy of
the world because of our natural resources, pursuit of technical brilliance,
and environmental excellence in harvesting and processing," says Lazar.
"This will be a clear strategic advantage as we enter 2011 and in the
decades to come."
Canada is not only the globe's most
successful exporter of forest products but is also Canada's most successful
exporter to the emerging Asian markets. Over the past five years, the industry
has more than tripled its wood exports to China, going from $109 million in
2005 to $385 million in 2009.
"The planet is becoming crowded and
more affluent. Between now and 2030, the world's population will grow by 1.3
billion, about the size of the current population of China," says Lazar.
"Over that same period, global GDP will double and personal income in the
developing world is expected to triple. That translates into a huge upsurge in
demand for increasingly scarce natural resources and a clear economic edge for
"Demand will strain supply not just
for energy and minerals, but also for land available for farming. The United
Nations predicts a 50% shortfall of arable land in the next twenty years. This
will be an obvious advantage for our agriculture sector but also for our
forestry sector since it works sustainably in natural forests instead of
relying on the huge tree farms found in other countries. Canada's forest
products industry is preparing itself for this opportunity."
See additional comment by Avrim Lazar in
the Times & Transcript: Bright future and immense potential exists in