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Mark Pearson

Mark Pearson

Executive Director, Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC)

From September 19-25, 2021, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are invited to recognize National Forest Week (NFW).

This annual national campaign will bring organizations and Canadians from different walks of life together to celebrate forests and our rich forest heritage, one of Canada’s most valuable and renewable resources.

This year’s theme “Our Forests – Continually Giving”, highlights how Canada’s diverse forests are connected to our everyday lives. The impact of forests and forestry is far reaching. Our forests play a vital role in providing clean water, air and rich biodiversity. They also provide economic opportunities and support communities across Canada. Trees and forests offer a variety of products, social and health benefits, provide critical ecological functions and play an important cultural role for Indigenous communities.

As Canada is home to 347 million hectares of forest (38% of total land area)1, the importance of our forested ecosystems cannot be understated.

From the oxygen trees produce, to helping control floods, cleaning our water and air, and supporting Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, forests help keep our environment healthy and strong.

Forests also have a role in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Given the carbon sequestering capacities of trees and their ability to yield bioenergy, forests have and will continue playing a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Without strong and healthy forests, our lives would look very different. Canada is a world-leader in sustainable forest management, protecting and conserving our forests through science-based decision making and strict laws and standards. Forest practitioners and professionals work every day to ensure our urban and rural forests are sustainably managed and remain resilient through a changing climate.

“Forests are more important now than ever, serving as a beacon of renewal, resilience and hope for the future,” states CIF-IFC Executive Director, Mark Pearson. “Sustainable forest management practices are critical to ensure thriving forests across Canada.” 

The ways in which forests provide a variety of products, social, cultural, and health benefits, and critical ecological functions are highlighted in our NFW daily sub themes:

1. Sunday, September 19, 2021 – Forests and nature

2. Monday, September 20, 2021 – Forests and humans

3. Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – Challenges in a changing climate

4. Wednesday, September 22, 2021 – Building resilience through innovation

5. Thursday, September 23, 2021 – Forest champions, inclusion and diversity

6. Friday, September 24, 2021 – Sustainable forests

7. Saturday, September 25, 2021 – Forest education and heritage

There are many ways that Canadians can participate in NFW including: following the daily sub- themes on CIF-IFC’s social media channels, organizing or participating in a tree plant, exploring a forest near their home, or by learning more about forests and sustainable forest management.

Stay connected by using the #NationalForestWeek hashtag and share your stories, events, and photos with us at: [email protected] or tag us/follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Formed in 1908, the CIF-IFC is the national voice of forest practitioners and many others with an interest in forestry and forests. The Institute strives to provide national leadership, promote competence, and foster public awareness of Canadian and international forestry/forest issues.

1The State of Canada’s Forests. Annual Report 2020. 2020. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa. 88 p.

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