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Boreal Market News Volume 5, Issue 12

Published by CPAWS – Northern Alberta Chapter

  1. Boreal forest the 'Fort Knox' of carbon
    University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler said Canada needs to be very careful about how it handles its forests if it wants to prevent more carbon from adding to the current climate change problem. Schindler suggested that now is an opportune time to focus on keeping forests intact and putting them in long-term reserves, especially since the forestry industry is floundering.

  2. Major Momentum Builds For Canada's Boreal Forest - Businesses, First Nations and Conservation Groups Advance Solutions to Preserve Canada's Green Necklace
    Global energy company Nexen Inc., national environmental organization the Pembina Institute, the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and socially-responsible fund manager Domini Social Investments LLC are the newest members of the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC), the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) today announced. The 18 members of the BLC are also signatories to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, which is a vision to preserve at least half of the Boreal Forest while supporting sustainable development on the remaining landscape.

  3. Xerox Corporation Earns Widest Reaching Forest Stewardship Council Chain-of-Custody Certification Spanning Operations in 17 Countries
    Xerox Corporation, one of the world's largest brands of cut-sheet paper, has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification from the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program. This certification will allow Xerox to purchase and sell FSC-certified paper at 77 distribution centers in 17 countries in North America and Europe - covering the greatest geographic area of any FSC Chain-of-Custody certification to date.

  4. Random House and ForestEthics join forces at Bali climate talks
    Tzeporah Berman with ForestEthics was in Bali speaking about the climate change impacts of logging Canada's Boreal forest. "Canada has an opportunity to change course and be a climate leader by committing to absolute emission reduction targets and supporting new UN forest rules that recognize the importance of conserving the planet's major carbon storehouses, Canada's very own boreal and temperate forests."

Boreal Market News is a publication of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - Edmonton Chapter. Our intent is to provide information to decision makers on new developments in forest management, focusing on changing market forces. For more information or to be added or removed from the mailing list contact the Editor, Helene Walsh, at: helene_w [at] telus [dot] net


1. Boreal forest the 'Fort Knox' of carbon

Edmonton Journal, December 8, 2007

A new series of maps shows how Canada's boreal forest manages to lock up almost twice as much carbon per unit area as the tropical forests. The three maps show where permafrost, peatlands and soil with organic carbon are located within the boreal forest that covers much of the country. Each is adept at storing carbon, the basis for the planet's climate change problem.

"There's been a preoccupation with looking at the trees and the vegetation and how much carbon on an annual basis they take up or release," said Jeff Wells, a senior scientist with the International Boreal Conservation Campaign. "But that's really just a piece of the bigger picture." The peat, permafrost and soil boost the ability of forests to store carbon. Altogether, Wells said the boreal forest is to carbon what Fort Knox is to gold. "It's an internationally important repository for carbon, built up over thousands of years," he said. "The maps released (Friday) document where and how these vital carbon reserves are distributed across Canada. We should do everything we can to ensure that the carbon in this storehouse is conserved."

The maps were developed for the International Boreal Conservation Campaign by Global Forest Watch, an international forest conservation group with a Canadian chapter based in Edmonton. Canada's boreal forest stores an estimated 186 billion tons of carbon in its widespread forest and peat land ecosystems -- the equivalent of 27 years' worth of global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Globally, the boreal forest houses 22 per cent of the total carbon stored on the world's land surface. This is largely because in boreal climates, the colder temperatures reduce decomposition rates, resulting in deep organic soils that are thousands of years old, according to Wells.

University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler, who was involved with the mapping project, said Canada needs to be very careful about how it handles its forests if it wants to prevent more carbon from adding to the current climate change problem. A study about five years ago suggested the boreal forest had been tipped from a slight sink that absorbed carbon to a slight source due to logging and fires, Schindler said. Reducing timber harvesting and controlling fire will be key strategies to keep the forest sequestering carbon, he added. "Clearly, one thing we don't want to do, given the size of this inventory, is to accelerate the rate of carbon loss from it," Schindler said. "We could easily double the emissions from this country to the atmosphere if we start doing things that could promote big forest fires. "And there, I'd say No. 1 is climate warming. We can already see some of the nasty surprises that weren't predicted, like mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle outbreaks." Beetle infestations have killed millions of trees, leaving tinder-dry forests in their wake. Schindler suggested that now is an opportune time to focus on keeping forests intact and putting them in long-term reserves, especially since the forestry industry is floundering.

Conservation groups lauded the federal government's decision about two weeks ago, to protect 25 million acres of land in the Northwest Territories. The Canadian Boreal Initiative, a group focused on boreal forest conservation, called this an example of "the type of action required to protect this critical carbon storehouse."

hbrooymans [at] thejournal [dot] canwest [dot] com

Carbon Sinks

  • Peatlands are recognized worldwide as highly important for carbon storage, storing at least six times as much carbon per hectare as forested mineral soils. Canada has the largest area of peatlands in the world, encompassing 12 per cent of the nation's land area.
  • Permafrost, or permanently frozen ground, occupies about 25 per cent of the world's and 50 per cent of Canada's total land area. It is rich in carbon.
  • Nearly 90 per cent of the organic carbon found in Canadian soils occurs in boreal and tundra ecosystems.

SOURCE: International Boreal Conservation Campaign

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2. Major Momentum Builds For Canada's Boreal Forest - Businesses, First Nations and Conservation Groups Advance Solutions to Preserve Canada's Green Necklace

Treaty 8, Nexen Inc., Pembina Institute, CBI, December 3, 2007

Global energy company Nexen Inc., national environmental organization the Pembina Institute, the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta and socially-responsible fund manager Domini Social Investments LLC are the newest members of the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC), the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) today announced.

First convened in December 2003, the BLC is a unique alliance of conservation groups, First Nations, resource companies and financial institutions that are committed to conservation and sustainable development solutions in Canada's Boreal Forest. The 18 members of the BLC are also signatories to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, which is a vision to preserve at least half of the Boreal Forest while supporting sustainable development on the remaining landscape.

Stretching across the country from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Yukon, the Boreal Forest is one of the world's largest and last intact forest ecosystems. It provides extensive habitat for a variety of species, is home to over 600 Aboriginal communities and is the backbone of Canada's forestry, mining and energy sectors. The Boreal Forest contains more fresh water than any ecosystem on the planet and is a vital shield against global warming.

"Today's addition of four new BLC members marks the most significant expansion of the group since its inception," said Larry Innes, CBI's executive director. "We look forward to working with Nexen, Pembina, Treaty 8 First Nations and Domini as they contribute individually and collectively to making the Boreal Framework vision a reality."

Nexen Inc., an upstream oil and gas company with both conventional and unconventional as well as oil sands projects in the Boreal Forest, aims to reduce its ecological footprint by implementing sustainable operating practices, using innovative technologies and participating in research. "We are looking at ways to minimize the environmental impacts of our operations," said Garry Mann, Nexen's general manager of health, safety and environment. "As examples, we have recently sponsored research into the feasibility of developing a biodiversity offset regime in the Athabasca region as well as research on caribou habitat and wetlands elsewhere in the Western Canadian Boreal."

For the Pembina Institute, an environmental organization dedicated to advancing sustainable energy, joining the BLC provides an opportunity to further develop innovative conservation solutions that integrate Aboriginal, corporate and environmental perspectives. "Due to mounting pressures on Boreal ecosystems and communities, a joint effort is needed," said Marlo Raynolds, executive director of the Pembina Institute. "By participating in a diverse and multi-sectoral group like the BLC we hope to enact change, both in government policies and industry practices."

With energy development in its own backyard, the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta recognize the challenges of balancing development with conservation. "By working with the BLC we hope to link land use planning, environmental protection and recognition of our traditional rights with cultural sustainability and economic development within Treaty 8 territory," said Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey.

Domini Social Investments LLC, a leading investment adviser dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible investing, is active on a range of issues central to the Boreal Forest, including Aboriginal rights, climate change and ecological protection. "We believe that protecting the earth's forests is essential to addressing climate change," said Karen Shapiro, shareholder advocacy associate with Domini. "We have engaged with companies to improve their forestry and fiber sourcing practices. We are pleased to join the BLC and hope that by using our influence as investors, we can increase the group's effectiveness in carrying out its important work."

On December 6, 2007, the newest BLC members will be formally welcomed into the group at the inaugural Boreal Awards event in Ottawa, hosted by CBI. Based in Ottawa, the Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal by governments, industry, First Nations, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions and scientists.

Nexen Inc. is an independent, Canadian-based global energy company, listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol NXY. It is uniquely positioned for growth in the North Sea, deep-water Gulf of Mexico, the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta, the Middle East and West Africa.

Domini Social Investments LLC is an investment adviser specializing insocially responsible investing. It manages $1.5 billion for individual and institutional investors who integrate social and environmental standards into their investment decisions.

The Pembina Institute aims to advance sustainable energy solutions through innovative research, education, consulting and advocacy.

Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta represents 23 First Nations communities in Alberta whose traditional territories constitute the Boreal Forest in the northern two-thirds of the province.

For further information:

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3. Xerox Corporation Earns Widest Reaching Forest Stewardship Council Chain-of-Custody Certification Spanning Operations in 17 Countries

 

Rainforest Alliance, December 12, 2007

Xerox Corporation, one of the world's largest brands of cut-sheet paper, has earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification from the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program, an international nonprofit conservation organization.This certification will allow Xerox to purchase and sell FSC-certified paper at 77 distribution centers in 17 countries in North America and Europe - covering the greatest geographic area of any FSC Chain-of-Custody certification to date. Xerox has also earned Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.

"The scale of Xerox's commitment to FSC certification shows how large corporations are making serious commitments to greening their supply chains," said Tensie Whelan, executive director of the Rainforest Alliance. "Supporting FSC certification helps ensure the conservation of the world's working forests for generations to come." Paper and other wood products that bear the FSC logo originate from forestlands that have met criteria covering the maintenance of high conservation value forests and the protection of soils, waterways, wildlife and the rights and welfare of workers and local communities.

Connecticut-based Xerox earned Chain-of-Custody certification - which ensures that paper bearing the FSC logo is properly tracked throughout processing, from the forest to the retailer - after passing audits conducted by the Rainforest Alliance at 11 facilities in four countries. The audits verified that the company was complying with the standards of the FSC, the global standard-setter for responsible forest management, and had a system in place for tracking and segregating FSC-certified paper.

The certification covers all of the company's 77 distribution facilities in the US, Canada and 15 European countries - the largest scope of any FSC Chain-of-Custody certification to date. This will allow Xerox to meet the growing demands of customers for FSC-certified paper. The company plans to announce its first certified products in early 2008.

"Xerox sees sustainability as not only a value we talk about but as a real behavior we strive to practice," said Steve Simpson, vice president and general manager, Xerox Paper and Supplies Business Unit. "FSC and PEFC certification are important steps in our effort to ensure that the production of paper is not a drain on our natural resources and that we use these resources wisely and efficiently. There's also an increasing demand from customers that want to make sustainable purchasing decisions."

At a time when climate change issues are on many people's minds - as in the recent global climate change conference in Bali - it is important to recognize that, by supporting sustainable forestry and forest conservation, Xerox is making a positive contribution.

"The FSC applauds Xerox's commitment to responsible purchasing," said Heiko Liedeker, executive director of FSC International. "Well-known companies such as Xerox wield a great deal of power and responsibility to lead positive change. We are confident that an increasing number of multinational companies will choose to become certified with the development of this new multi-site standard."

Indeed, large forest products companies are increasingly seeking FSC certification. According to a 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers global survey, 61 of the 100 largest forest, paper and packaging companies worldwide publish some kind of sustainability report - and of these, 49 percent have earned FSC certification for at least one of their operations.

Thousands of pulp providers, mills, merchants and printers have earned FSC Chain-of-Custody certification, and many publishers - most recently Simon and Schuster, Inc. - have committed to increasing their use of FSC-certified paper. Also in the past year, Nordstrom, Inc. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and Limited Brands (the parent company of Victoria's Secret) all began using FSC-certified paper in their catalogs and other printed materials.

The area of FSC-certified forestlands has nearly doubled in the past three years to a total of more than 224 million acres (more than 90 million hectares), making a growing supply of certified wood products available to companies and consumers.

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.

Contact Info:

Gretchen Ruethling
Tel : 646-452-1939

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4. Random House and ForestEthics join forces at Bali climate talks
"Now's the time for some eye popping bedtime reading"

ForestEthics, Random House, November 30, 2007

Random House and ForestEthics are joining forces next week during the start of the UN's climate negotiations in Bali, Indonesia to highlight the global environmental impacts of developing Alberta's oilsands especially in the wake of Canada's increasing isolation from international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

ForestEthics co-founder Tzeporah Berman is hand-delivering 100 copies of Stupid to the Last Drop - donated by publisher Random House Canada - to heads of state and environmental ministers meeting in Bali.

"It's unbelievable that Canada continues to develop the largest fossil fuel project in the world and isolate itself internationally," said Tzeporah Berman of ForestEthics. "My hope is that by delivering copies of Stupid to the Last Drop to government delegates in Bali that a few light bulbs might go off. If ever there's a time for eye popping bedtime reading, it's now."

Stupid To The Last Drop, by Canadian investigative reporter William Marsden, reports how Alberta is drilling itself to death, impacting the environment in an ongoing bid to feed the US hunger for oil with no thought to conservation or Canada's long-term needs. The book looks at the increasingly violent geopolitical forces that are gathering as the world's gas and oil resources dwindle and the Age of Oil begins its inevitable slide.

Louise Dennys, Executive Publisher of Knopf Canada and Random House Canada, says, "William Marsden has revealed just how shocking and urgent the situation is-and the degree to which Canada is right now responsible for wreaking colossal, uncontrolled environmental damage-leveling the northern Boreal forest to get at the oil sands, digging, drilling and blasting our way to oblivion for the sake of greed and the energy business."

With books in hand, Tzeporah Berman is also in Bali speaking about the climate change impacts of logging Canada's Boreal forest - the world's largest terrestrial carbon storehouse - during the weeklong meeting.

"Canada has an opportunity to change course and be a climate leader by committing to absolute emission reduction targets and supporting new UN forest rules that recognize the importance of conserving the planet's major carbon storehouses, Canada's very own boreal and temperate forests."

For further information: Tzeporah Berman, ForestEthics, (604) 313-4713 (also number in Bali); Lesley Horlick, Publicity Manager Random House, (416) 957-1563

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Posted January 7, 2008 by Anonymous

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