The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

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ss atrahasis
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement


ss atrahasis

This seems like good news for a change. Haven't looked much into anything other than press releases yet though.


TUESDAY, MAY 18, 2010, Toronto/Montreal, Canada - Today 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and nine leading environmental organizations unveiled an unprecedented agreement that applies to 72 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members, 16 million hectares of which is in Quebec.

The Agreement, when fully implemented, will conserve significant areas of the vast Boreal Forest in Quebec and Canada, protect threatened woodland caribou and apply the highest environmental standards to forest management. Environmental organizations will engage in recognizing and applauding the efforts of participating companies to international markets, giving them a competitive market edge.

The Agreement calls for the suspension of new logging on nearly 29 million hectares of Boreal Forest , 8.5 million hectares within Quebec, allowing for the development of conservation plans for endangered caribou, while maintaining essential fiber supplies for uninterrupted mill operations. "Do Not Buy" campaigns by Canopy, ForestEthics and Greenpeace will be suspended while the Agreement is being implemented.

"The importance of this Agreement cannot be overstated," said Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "FPAC member companies and their ENGO counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head. Together we have identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers of our products' sustainability. It's gratifying to see nearly a decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our operations, is culminating in a process that will set a forestry standard that will be the envy of the world."

Boreal Canada link

Agreement link

CBC link



Forest Firms Get PR Boost

"...And there appears to be little downside for the industry in the short term. Forestry companies, beleagured by the US housing  meltdown are already felling far fewer trees than they are permitted to. Limits to supply are not of great immediate concern...the agreement actually requires the environmentalist signatories which also includes the David Suzuki Foundation and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society to come to the defense of the FPAC companies should their practices in the boreal forest come under attack.."

Freedom 55

Boreal Forest Conflicts Far From Over

Mainstream enviros, timber industry shut First Nations out of "historic" deal


"I hardly think that this in any way represents an end to the conflict between the true proponants of the war over the boreal forest, which of course are corporations and First Nations," [Clayton Thomas-Muller] said. "What this means is that First Nations no longer have the support of these mainstream environmental groups that have fallen into the strategy of conquer and divide deployed by industry."


Tzeporah Berman et al on the job...greensleaze and settler environmentalism sells out again

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Yep. And it is all volunatry which means the fictional, unaccountable corporate persons may return to raping the forests any time they choose.

Joey Ramone

Most of the eco groups involved in this deal are heavily funded by government and sleazy oil company and other industry money, laundered through the Pew Charitable Trusts and their subsidiaries.  They've been advocating sell-outs on the tar pits for years:

Most of the forests "protected" through these deals are not of any interest to industry anyway because they're too remote to make logging economical.  The support of these sleazy eco groups lends support to forest industry demands for corporate welfare handouts to subsidize logging in areas where they planned to log anyway.


And it does not do one thing for the endangered MOUNTAIN CARIBOU in the Kootenay region of BC. Look at the maps of the area of the agreement - it excludes most of BC.

Old growth in the Kootenays is essential for these Caribou because they survive the winter by eating oil growth tree moss. Loggers pay no heed to that; we are loosing that old growth and it didn't even come up "because it is not BOREAL forest", as if the Caribou know that.

It does seem like a sell out. The one good thing about this agreement is that the protests had an effect - paper wasted on catalogues and junk mail that are 90% unread has hit a nerve.


thanks so much for IEN, Earthroots, OilSandsTruth, other groups and Vancouver media co-op as well as the link to the doc. i'll try to look at that sooner than later.



George Victor

thanks: "The section goes on to say that 72, 205 hectares would be shifted out of caribou range but logged elsewhere within industry tenures.

Industry will continue to harvest 684,461 hectares within caribou range, and the rest of the advertised 29 million hectares hadn't been projected for harvesting anyway until March 31, 2012.  So much for a world-changing 'moratorium'."


These details are much appreciated thanks.


The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Reconsidered

"In return for swapping 72,205 hectares of harvesting out of the boreal forest and maintaining 'voluntary deferrals' for another two years, the CBFA transforms the nine ENGOs involved into a promotional service, protection racket and intelligence gathering service for twenty one companies that are actively logging Woodland caribou habitat within the boreal forest.."


Correct me- But is the Forest Fire land in central Quebec part of the Boreal Forest Agreement?? Have not been in that area for some time....You can reply in French if you wish??



Boreal Giveaway

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement gives the boreal to bankers.

Deal-pushers hailed millions of hectares saved from logging for a three-year moratorium.  The text of Agreement, however, stated industry only had current plans for logging a small portion of caribou habitat in the next couple years:

"Of this 29,336,953 ha [hectares] of caribou range within their boreal tenures, approximately 756,666 ha as identified in Schedule “I” was scheduled for harvesting and road construction between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2012;" p.28.  [This URL is the link to the actual text of the Agreement.]

The section goes on to say that 72, 205 hectares would be shifted out of caribou range but logged elsewhere within industry tenures.

Industry will continue to harvest 684,461 hectares within caribou range, and the rest of the advertised 29 million hectares hadn't been projected for harvesting anyway until March 31, 2012.  So much for a world-changing 'moratorium'.

Across industry tenures, adopted FSC standards allow for clearcuts and aerial herbicide sprays including Round Up (glyphosate) (definitions p.128 ff.).

Monoculture replacement plantations can include the 'bio-products' of genetically engineered R&D in 'green recovery' (p.31) for 'bio-energy'.

Trees are cut to save the climate: There are "areas where FPAC members are harvesting primarily for biomass” p.45.  Industrial harvesting of trees for biomass is a part of “Climate Friendly Practices” p. 29 ff.

Shredded trees are to become part of the carbon market, minus the footprint of processing:

 “FPAC Members and ENGOs agree on approaches to carbon accounting rules as they affect offset protocol development (e.g. baselines, additionality, permanence and leakage) that can be provided to government as an input” p.45.

The Agreement subsumes caribou and habitat protection under financier's priorities, " overlaying the gap analysis and site identification with a consideration of mutually agreed upon social and economic criteria…a) Minimizing the effects on the supply and cost of fibre, as measured by all applicable factors including world-wide competitiveness, quantity, cost of harvesting, transportation and logistics costs" pp.23, 24.

This Agreement through FSC-recognized Acts is subject to existing 'free trade' /investor rights deals in which financier's rights trump the environment: When disputes arise, unelected WTO tribunals decide.  Not only have negotiators of this Agreement failed to explicitly reject investor rule, they augment it with Investor Update forums (p.9, and Sch.B).

A General Principle of the Agreement is to "minimize, mitigate and/or otherwise address the impact of new actions on wood supply and costs;” p.7.

Even the scientific advisory committee is limited by industry and banker-determined 'cost-effectiveness':

In the Agreement definitions, " 'precautionary approach' means that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost–effective measures to prevent environmental degradation". 

Conditions constituting ‘serious’ and 'irreversible' can be determined by industry ‘studies’ funded by the financiers whose rights are upheld in this Agreement.

The oxymoronic goal includes to “create a climate of greater investment certainty, while at the same time have a neutral to positive impact on the sector’s ecological performance “p.46.

Under current trade deals and financier-rights rule, security for investors means their own capacity to expand profits through financial and derivatives markets. These markets feed on short-term gain and ecological destruction.  Their capacity to manipulate costs allows them to manipulate the economic parameters they've succeeded in introducing to this Agreement.  Actual costs, and related financial market transactions are, of course, indeterminable, and inaccessible as "proprietary interests" p.8.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement gives the boreal to the banks.

Workers and community members instead could focus on a model reclaiming control of public lands, with actual habitat protection and income-generating selective use, without handing huge profit margins and control to speculators.


[i could have written that up as a 'news for the rest of us', but then would have linked it here anyway- same difference.]




additional comments;

During the fake 'Lands for Life' public consultation process of the Ontario government a number of years ago, the hearings committees were stacked with corporate reps, who were also paying to bus loggers to Queen's Park to protest protection.

In the north, at Megisan Lake, my partner and I had conversations with one lodge owner who had worked a decade to protect the lake and its surroundings.  He had been threatened by loggers and almost run over on occasion by trucks.  We tented in a cleft on an island, watching the same storm circle and repeatedly revisit the lake.  A peregrine falcon nested above.  In sunny breaks, wetland rushes bent gold in the breeze, the lake tossed diamonds.

We went to visit Quinn Lake which was, and perhaps still is, a jewel of biodiversity, a primeval forest of two foot thick moss and towering old growth, with linked rivers home to aquatic species variations I'd never seen before.  Quinn and Megisan were surrounded by clear cuts, and access was along dusty logging roads.  Margins were 'protected' in these Algoma Highlands, much as animals trapped in a city zoo.

It was Derek Rice of Wildlands who gave us directions to Quinn, in fact drove in front of us so we wouldn't get lost on the maze of logging roads.  David Suzuki and allies promoted the protection of that particular lake.  I remain grateful for these efforts.

At the time of the Lands for Life (for logging corporations) debacle, I mentioned to other Wildlands staff that as jobs were used as the main wedge issue against protection by companies, it would be useful to work with communities to find alternative jobs that weren't dependent on industrial logging. 

The current boreal Agreement displays corporate logos, but no union logos, and no community nor municipal logos.  Perhaps ENGOs assumed that as corporate leaders were the main antagonists, they needed to be tackled in negotiations.  It's one strategy.  We have seen its result.  Other strategies are still possible.

Peter Gorrie reported in the Star May 22, "In the North, people desperate for jobs reflexively oppose any suggestion of conservation...Now, says Anna Baggio of the Wildlands League, 'because the nine groups and 21 companies say there are solutions, you can't have that discussion anymore...that the sky is going to fall.'"

In Pukaskwa National Park (Lake Superior) last summer, a community member mentioned that municipalities were looking at options for forest tenures directly, to keep people employed.  This counters Gorrie's first statement.  In fact, one community member was employed in mining and visiting the Park.  Residents of the area have been considering alternatives.

Alternatives could include more protection, selective logging not clearcuts, with value-added work, or jobs that leave the trees intact.  Ideally we could eliminate the devastation of industrial processes including skidders and pulp plants.  We do not need newspapers, packaging, toilet paper, and 'green energy' made of ancient boreal forest, nor biotech replants. 

Aside from another look at forest practice, however, the primary focus needs to be direct public community and worker ownership, eliminating the control and wasted profits sent to corporate financial markets.

Given the manipulative and destructive control of financiers in carbon and derivatives markets, it is accutely apparent that ENGOs and concerned residents and workers directly need to take another look at possible alternatives together.




epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Greenpeace divided on Boreal Forest Agreement
Leaked conference call obtained by the Vancouver Media Co-op exposes divergent views on CBFA

by Vancouver Media Co-op

A leaked discussion between Greenpeace staff obtained by the Vancouver Media Co-op indicates the group is preparing damage control related to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which was announced on May 18.

Some staffers appear unsure as to the merits of the high profile release, particularly with regards to having left Indigenous groups out of the early decision making process.

The report above was prepared by Dawn Paley and Franklin López.


Leak Reveals Push to Win Over FNs on Controversial Forest Pact

"Environmental organizations and Forestry companies seeking buy-in on CBFA as FN opposition grows..."


Who Will Benefit from Enbridge Pipeline and Oil Sands Extraction?

"It's time to ask the question, Who benefits from the Tar Sands? Because it's not you or I..."

Tzeporah Berman

Co-Founder of ForestEthics

ForestEthics Advisory Board Member


"Who Benefits?" - Tzeporah Berman that's who  - Still Greensleazing - Only now It's ForestEthics Advocacy...