Message from the Minister of Natural Resources

The Honourable James Gordon Carr, Minister of Natural Resources

For more than 150 years, forestry has been an integral part of the Canadian story. From timber rafts on the Ottawa River to lumber camps in British Columbia, forestry has helped to define us as a nation and shape us as a people.

It continues to do so. With the third-largest forested area on the planet, Canada boasts nearly 40 percent of the world's certified forests, far more than any other country. From Yukon to Newfoundland and Labrador, the forest sector is benefiting local communities, boosting our economy, helping to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and showing us what we can accomplish when we work together.

As the industry innovates and diversifies its products, it opens up new export opportunities. Initiatives such as Generation Energy and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers' (CCFM) Bioeconomy Framework for Canada will help to ensure that Canadian wood products win new markets and advance the broader goals of a cleaner, low-carbon future. Diversifying markets creates jobs for Canadians and helps reduce the industry's vulnerability to trade barriers.

At the same time, our forest industry is rising to the challenges presented by climate change, such as periods of low rainfall, more frequent forest fires and shifting patterns of insect outbreaks. Collective action is required to mitigate the resulting disturbances, like the forest fires that affected communities across British Columbia this summer and we are working with our partners toward solutions.

Our government believes in this industry and is excited about its future. As this year's Chair of the CCFM, Natural Resources Canada has worked with the provinces and territories to highlight forestry's central role in some of the most important issues of our time: combatting climate change, driving innovation and creating economic opportunities for rural and Indigenous communities.

This edition of The State of Canada's Forests examines some of these exciting opportunities, from the emerging bioeconomy and new construction materials to innovative uses for forest products in auto parts, bioplastics, biochemicals and textiles.

Forestry has shaped Canada's history, but it is also vital to our nation's future.

The Honourable Jim Carr, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Natural Resources