Thank you, as always, for your invaluable support for Canopy’s work
to transform the impact that unsustainable consumption has on our planet and ensure a vibrant future for the world’s ancient forests, climate and species. We couldn’t be as effective as we are without your help and we acknowledge and appreciate your ongoing commitment.
We are writing today to update you on some significant developments in Canopy’s campaign to protect Canada’s Boreal Forest and a major decision that will dramatically affect our work going forward while leading to greater opportunity to secure a future for vitally important Boreal ecosystems.
As you know, Canopy has always focused on obtaining concrete results in return for our investment of capacity and resources. From the greening of the Harry Potter books to our groundbreaking Second Harvest paper, we have a proven track record for brokering meaningful change in the markets and in the forests. This commitment has never wavered, as witnessed by our recent success in securing a corporate-wide Environmental Purchasing Policy from Torstar
, publishers of hot and steamy romance Harlequin novels and over 125 daily and weekly papers. This policy, announced March 28, 2013, will see Torstar affiliated companies encourage suppliers to eliminate the use of fiber from ancient and endangered forests and set FSC as the standard for forest certification.
While our work in the markets has been the backbone of our success, we have also maintained our commitment to interest-based negotiations that deliver meaningful conservation. Canopy’s ongoing efforts with our Rainforest Solutions Project allies in the Great Bear Rainforest are helping that process move from 50 per cent towards 70 per cent old growth retention and we are involved in early stage initiatives for similar change in Indonesia’s rainforests.
To borrow from Kenny Rogers, however, Canopy “knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em”. To that end, effective April 17th, Canopy is withdrawing from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA)
and will be dedicating our time and effort to the re-invigoration of our successful work with the forest industry’s large customers to secure meaningful Boreal protection. We have not taken this decision lightly and place high value on sustaining our constructive work with corporate partners. The CBFA, however, is not bearing fruit.
Over the past several years, we have dedicated enormous time and resources to the CBFA in a sincere effort to seek solutions for Boreal Forest protection through this multi-party process. Our hope was that collaborative dialogue with major forestry companies would help shape the future, as it has in the Great Bear Rainforest, and be a game-changer for Canada’s Boreal Forest and the species that depend on it.
We have been struggling for some time with the apparent inability of the process to yield meaningful progress. As the third anniversary approaches, Canopy has come to terms with the reality that the game on the ground is not changing, and certainly not at the pace or scale needed to ensure a future for boreal ecosystems. Despite our best efforts, not a single acre of boreal forestland across 170 million acres has been legislated into protection or even recommended for protection jointly by the environmental and industry caucuses. Nor has the process succeeded in developing more than one Caribou Action Plan for the 51 herds of this threatened and iconic species. In addition, the deferrals and areas of suspended harvest that were a cornerstone of the agreement expired in 2012 and while offering assurances that deferrals remain in place, the forest industry members have consistently declined to provide maps or identify areas where harvest suspensions remain in place or where harvesting may have resumed.
While remaining committed to constructive dialogue and effective collaboration with forest companies, Canopy has determined more meaningful and speedier results for the Boreal Forest can be achieved through our work helping to shape the ancient forest friendly purchasing decisions of major consumers and developing new strategic alliances with forestry companies who are committed to meaningful outcomes. This path, in turn, leads to increased demand for greater forest protection, ecosystem-based management regimes and stable, more sustainable fibre supply.
We plan to launch our re-invigorated markets campaign with an urgent push to secure protection for Quebec’s Boreal gem – the Broadback Valley Forest. Three Cree First Nations have recently declared strong support for protection for this biologically rich, intact forest within their traditional territories. The three major tenure holders in the region are, at present, on record as supporting the suspension of logging operations in the region. The Quebec government is in the process of implementing a new forest management regime. The coalescence of all these factors has opened the door to a tremendous and potentially short-lived opportunity to secure meaningful, large-scale and lasting protection of more than 60% of this high-priority boreal landscape. We hope to capitalize on this opportunity over the coming months.
Canopy thanks you for your donation and we hope that you will continue to support our efforts – if possible maybe even increase your financial support
so we can continue protect these amazing wild places that provide us with fresh air and clean water. We may not all be blessed with the opportunity to see a Spirit Bear or the illusive Caribou in our lifetime but we know that these magnificent creatures and the magical forests that sustain them are worthy of our joint efforts to secure bold and concrete change on the ground. Our track record of success, our passion, the bold conservation ask that we know is possible needs to be fueled by your generous donations.
Don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any thoughts or questions.