Tree Frog Forestry News

False claims and sloppy journalism confuse the deforestation issue

By John Mullinder
Pulp & Paper Canada
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Most Canadians find it hard to believe that the forest industry is accountable for only four per cent of Canada’s deforestation. And that Canada has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world (0.01 per cent). The widespread public confusion springs partly from the definition of the word itself in international agreements. Chopping down a tree or a section of forest, for example, does not equal deforestation when its harvest is followed by the regrowth of that forest. In Canadian law, logging companies must replenish or restock the resource they have harvested either through natural or artificial regeneration (tree planting and seeding). Because they do this – replacing the forest they have harvested earlier – the net deforestation they are responsible for is minimal. In fact, the four per cent represents the new permanent access roads that the industry needs to get into the harvest areas, rather than the harvest itself.

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