Worldwide, conservation of biological diversity is becoming acknowledged as a critical environmental issue. By 1996, 170 countries had signed the Convention on Biological Diversity presented at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Brazil. In 1995, in response to its signing of the Convention, Canada published the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy.
The Canadian forest industry is already implementing many of the measures the Strategy identified for forests. Companies are studying forest ecological functions, preparing management plans that preserve wild species and habitat, training staff in sustainable practices, managing forests to allow for natural regeneration, and educating the public on forest ecology.
In recent years, research conducted by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited has broadened from traditional investigations into timber production to all aspects of biodiversity. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper stores information on wildlife populations and models habitat needs using a Geographic Information System (GIS). We also do landscape design modeling in sensitive areas which minimizes the visual impacts of harvesting on the forest landscapes.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is devising biodiversity strategies or ensuring biodiversity conservation is included in management plans. These plans advise taking measures such as conserving indicators species, instituting migratory and riverside corridor conservation, leaving clumps of trees or “snags” in harvest areas.
Training is a critical first step of both devising and implementing biodiversity conservation. Under the Continuous Improvement Program of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited, which began in 1994, staff gather on a regular basis to discuss ideas for improving its operations. Reducing site disturbance is one of the program’s goals, which has led to seeding around culverts to protect soil from erosion and keeping silt from getting into streams.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is establishing management practices for individual species and the landscape that meet and in many cases exceed provincial guidelines. Many companies are implementing management plans that connect unharvested areas with forested corridors, maintain genetic diversity through natural regeneration, and retain broad buffer zones along streams and rivers.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper recognizes that public awareness and support is critical to the success of initiatives to conserve biodiversity. Providing opportunities for students and the public to witness forestry operations, learn about forestry techniques, and gain a stronger appreciation for Canada’s forests generally have become standard practice for many companies across the country.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, like many other Canadian companies, conducts tours for the public and its own employees. Since 1996 the Company has provided public tours to demonstrate the Company’s forest management planning and operating practices for all interested parties. The Company also gives tours and presentations to school groups, and provides a project list that offers different activities students can do to learn about the province’s forests. Since 2001 Corner Brook Pulp and Paper has been sending Newfoundland teachers to the Canadian Woodlands Forum Atlantic Teachers Tour in the Maritimes. These 4-day conferences present a positive, unbiased perception of forest management, forest product manufacturing, and the forest sector as a whole, as well as provide the teachers with resource materials for use in their classrooms. The Company also participates in the annual 2-day Forest Fair organized by the Newfoundland Forest Sector Communications Working Group.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper support sustainable forest management principles. They are committed to sustaining a productive forest that can support a healthy, competitive industry and provide the many benefits people seek through integrated forest resource management. The industry will work to maintain forest biodiversity and wildlife habitat over time and space, through careful planning, silvicultural prescriptions and forest renewal programs appropriate for each ecosystem.
CORNER BROOK PULP AND PAPER PARTICIPATES WITH WILDLIFE HABITAT CANADA IN CONSERVING FOREST BIODIVERSITY
The diversity of all living things on earth, also known as biodiversity, has emerged as the key ecological concept of the 1990s. Forests are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Many people are concerned that current resource management practices are eroding the earth’s biodiversity. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper realizes that biodiversity conservation is a key component of sustainable forest management and is essential if our forest ecosystems are to remain healthy and continue to provide the economic and environmental benefits we now enjoy. The Canadian Standards Association Sustainable Forest Management standards require the incorporation of a full range of values in forest management activities. The public and our customers expect us to consider all forest values, not just timber, when we plan and conduct our forest management activities. In 1997 Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, along with five other major forest companies in Canada, has joined Wildlife Habitat Canada’s Forest Biodiversity Program. This program is designed to assist forest companies in developing innovative strategies to conserve biodiversity in the forests they manage.
Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC) is a non-profit, non government organization whose primary aim is to protect and enhance wildlife habitat. This aim compliments our efforts to develop and implement a biodiversity conservation strategy for our timberlands. We participated in the WHC program to use the experience of this national conservation organization to strengthen our efforts in developing and implementing forest practices that will ensure the rich biological diversity that occurs in Western Newfoundland continues. By having an independent, conservation-oriented, third party examine what Corner Brook Pulp & Paper does, we have developed a program that will improve our ability in this important area of forest management.
More information about Corner Brook Pulp & Paper’s involvement in this program or about its forest management activities can be obtained by visiting our Contacts page.
More information about Corner Brook Pulp & Paper’s involvement in this program or about its forest management activities can be obtained by visiting our contacts page.