05/18/2010 - An unlikely coalition of logging companies and environmental groups has reached an agreement to protect more than 300,000 square kilometres of Canadian boreal forest — an area larger than the United Kingdom — the biggest forest-conservation deal in history. An additional 385,000 square kilometres will fall under strict guidelines that will promote sustainable logging and protect ecologically and culturally sensitive sites.
Under the agreement, unveiled on 18 May in Toronto, Ontario, 21 members of the Forest Products Association of Canada, which represents the majority of companies in the Canadian logging industry, will set aside slightly less than half of the land for which they hold leases across seven provinces. In exchange, nine environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the Nature Conservancy, have pledged to suspend do-not-buy campaigns against the loggers' products, which range from construction lumber to toilet paper, and to actively endorse them.
"This will allow us to protect the most intact parts of the boreal forest that are critical habitat for the caribou and other species," says Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign, based in Seattle, Washington, which brokered the deal it hails as "radically pragmatic."
Read the full article, Pact Protects Canadian Forests, on the Nature Web site.