Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM)

NEWS RELEASE – Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Recognize the Value of Innovation and Indigenous Participation in the Forest Sector

DAWSON CITY, YT, June 8, 2016/CNW/ – The Canadian Council of  Forest Ministers (CCFM) met today in Dawson City, Yukon to renew its commitment  to key challenges and opportunities for Canada's forests and forest  sector. During their meeting chaired by the Government of Yukon, the Council  agreed to renew the Canadian Wildland Fire Strategy, and discussed the ways in  which the forest sector can contribute to Canada's climate change objectives,  enhance innovation and industry transformation, encourage greater Indigenous  participation in the forest sector and support bioenergy development, and demonstrate  sustainable forest management. The Council also discussed the softwood lumber  file and reaffirmed the importance of achieving a managed trade agreement with  the United States.

Building on the momentum of last year's Innovation Summit, the CCFM  representatives released the Council's Innovation Action Plan. Under the  pillars of collaboration, engagement and mobilisation, this plan outlines how  jurisdictions will work together to better align Canadian bioeconomy  initiatives and enhance innovation, in areas such as bioproducts and building  with wood, to maximize competitiveness and sustainability in the forest sector.

In recognizing that 70% of Indigenous communities in Canada are  located in forested areas, the CCFM will promote and encourage next-generation Indigenous  participation in forest industry opportunities. To this end, the Council is  once again partnering with the Forest Products Association of Canada to deliver  the "Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth". During this meeting, the CCFM  also met with Indigenous representatives to discuss the potential for bioenergy  development to provide sustainable economic benefits to communities, with  Ministers noting the importance of supporting such activities.  

"We all recognize that  climate change is impacting remote and northern communities across Canada,"  said the Honourable Scott Kent, Yukon's Minister of Energy, Mines and  Resources. "By encouraging the use of forest bio-fuels as an energy source,  off-grid communities have the opportunity to not only address environmental  impacts and risks associated with fossil fuel transport, storage and  consumption, but also make a real economic contribution to local community  capacity and economic development by using a sustainable local resource."

In recognition of Canada's stringent forest laws and regulation and  its status as a world leader in forest certification, governments across the  country remain steadfast in their support for sustainable forest management. To  increase awareness about Canada's strong record in sustainable forest practices,  the CCFM endorsed a Statement of Cooperation to "Promote Canada's Sustainable  Forests and Forest Products" to domestic and international audiences. Through  this statement, the CCFM commits to raising awareness within Canada and abroad  about the country's sustainable forest management practices and about the many  benefits of forests and forest products. The Council also agreed to continue  sharing science-based information on the state of Canada's forests.

"This Council provides  Ministers and forest stakeholders with a valuable opportunity to collaborate in  areas such as wildland fire, innovation, and bioenergy development for remote  and Indigenous communities. As incoming chair of the Council, I am looking  forward to continued discussions with my colleagues on how the forest sector  can continue to innovate, create economic opportunities for Indigenous and  local communities across the country, and contribute to the fight against  climate change," said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada's Minister of Natural  Resources.

The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers was established in 1985 to  provide a forum for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work  cooperatively to address issues of common interest related to the forest sector.  The CCFM provides leadership on national and international issues and sets  direction for the stewardship and sustainable management  of Canada's forests.

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For more information,  media may contact:

Dan  Macdonald
Yukon  Government Cabinet Communications

Media Relations
Canadian Council of Forest Ministers  Secretariat
Natural  Resources Canada