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Home » Environment » The Essential Service That’s Protecting Our Future: Our Forest Sector
Headshot - Mark Pearson

Mark Pearson

Executive Director, Canadian Institute of Forestry

The Canadian Institute of Forestry is the national voice of forest practitioners, with an interdisciplinary membership across Canada working to ensure that our forests are vibrant, healthy, and sustainable.

What are the greatest environmental challenges facing Canada’s forests today?

Canada’s forests face numerous threats due to a changing climate, including increased outbreaks from insects and diseases, and fire activity. In 2020, Natural Resources Canada reported that over 18.2 million hectares of forests were affected by insects and fires combined¹. However, Canada’s forests remain resilient, adaptive, and well-managed. A diverse and inclusive workforce will increase the forest sector’s capacity to adapt and to recover from adversity.

What innovative solutions are being developed to address these global issues?

Forests sequester carbon and provide a range of services, representing a vital nature-based solution to mitigate climate change. Considered an essential service throughout the pandemic, the forest sector has been implementing innovative technologies and management strategies to adapt and to support Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, such as building with mass timber, utilizing and refining biomass, and studying tree genetics for future climate conditions.

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

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