Sub Activity 2.3.1

Forest Ecosystems Science and Application


Sustainable development of Canada’s forests requires that forest ecosystems and their health are better understood, monitored and assessed as forests are susceptible to climate-induced changes, natural (disease) and man-made influences (harvesting, land-use changes). Decision-making, professional practice, international reputation and market access to forest-related products all rely on sound science and knowledge that enables a better understanding of changing forest dynamics. The objective of this sub-activity is to increase the overall scientific knowledge on forest ecosystems and support knowledge-based sustainable forest management policies and practices that consider sound ecological, social, and economic principles. Through this sub-activity, Natural Resources Canada conducts research as well as national assessments and monitoring to develop, synthesize and integrate scientific knowledge of Canada's forest ecosystems. This knowledge is used by governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations to develop forest management practices and policies, meet international reporting obligations, form Canada's negotiating positions on international environmental issues related to forests, and counter perceptions or misconceptions of Canada's forest practices. This sub activity includes the African Model Forest Initiative.

Non-Financial Performance Information
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Status Results
Increased use of scientific knowledge of Canada's forest ecosystems by governments, industry and non- govern- mental organizations Represent- ation of the Canadian Forest Service on forest ecosystems advisory boards or committees involving stake- holders Maintain current represent- ation (baseline to be established) by  March 31, 2013 To be provided in the corresponding DPR To be provided in the corresponding DPR
Percentage of peer- reviewed ecosystem publications cited over a rolling 5-year period. Stay within 10% of baseline (baseline to be established) by  March 31, 2013 To be provided in the corresponding DPR To be provided in the corresponding DPR
Financial Performance Information ($ thousands)
Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
22,690 22,690 To be provided in the corresponding DPR

FSDS Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

FSDS Goal 1 – Climate Change

Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.

FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation

Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

FSDS Implementation Strategy – International Work on Climate Change

1.1.48 United Nations Develop and submit a complete and compliant  annual national GHG Inventory Report and Common Reporting Format tables to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat by April 15, to meet UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements. (EC, NRCan)

FSDS Implementation Strategies – Forestry

1.1.54 Support the development and provision of scientific knowledge, modeling, data and tools that inform forest carbon budgets. (NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Under this Sub-activity, NRCan has five project areas: biodiversity, international model forests network, carbon science, landscape reclamation and national forest information management. The main objective of these projects is to allow the federal government, Canadians and their institutions to have an authoritative scientific foundation on forest ecosystems at the national level. This knowledge informs and influences the federal government’s forest related agenda.  As part of this work, NRCan conducts forest carbon cycle research and national assessment of forest carbon budgets, the main objective of which is to further the understanding and knowledge of forest ecosystems from a national perspective and to report on results on carbon accounting to the UNFCCC and Kyoto.  In relation to FSDS IS, data is collected and reported annually.

Non-PMF Performance Expectation

In relation to FSDS IS, NRCan provides data and forecasts associated with Canada’s vast forest landscapes estimates of forest-related land use change (afforestation/reforestation) and GHG emissions and removal to meet reporting requirements for GHG emission levels (e.g. UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol). Knowledge and capacity to track exchanges of carbon between forests and the atmosphere acquired under Sub-activity - Forest Ecosystem Science and Application contributes to reports on greenhouse gas emission levels.  Through the National Forest Inventory and the State of Canada’s Forest Report, NRCan provides information for government decision-makers and enables the public’s access to information on Canada’s forest. Thus, work under this Sub-activity contributes indirectly to FSDS Target 1.1 – Climate Change Mitigation.

FSDS Theme III – Protecting Nature

FSDS Goal 7 – Biological Resources

Sustainable production and consumption of biological resources are within ecosystem limits.

FSDS Target 7.3 -Sustainable Forest Management

Improve the management of Canada’s forest ecosystems through the development and dissemination of knowledge. (Minister of Natural Resources)

FSDS Implementation StrategySustainable Forest Management

7.3.2   Generate and disseminate scientific knowledge related to forest ecosystems. (NRCan)

How Activity Supports FSDS Target

Peer-reviewed scientific publications under this Sub-activity contribute to the improved management of Canada’s forests. This information is actively disseminated among a broad range of constituents and takes the form of workshops, peer-reviewed literature, fact sheets and web-based tools. Moreover, through the National Forest Inventory and the State of Canada’s Forest Report, NRCan provides information that enables public access to information on Canada’s forests. Thus, initiatives under this Sub-activity directly relate to FSDS Target 7.3 – Sustainable Forest Management.