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Natural Resources Canada
March 14, 2011

Statement by the Honourable Christian Paradis, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources, on the International Year of Forests

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — The year 2011 has been proclaimed the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. This is an excellent opportunity for all Canadians to celebrate this valuable resource as an integral part of our heritage. 

Canada is proud to be a leader in sustainable forest management. About 150 million acres of Canada’s forests have been certified as being sustainably managed according to one of the three internationally recognized certification standards. Our certified forests account for approximately half of all the certified lands around the globe.

Since 1992, Canada has been committed to sharing its expertise with the world, particularly through the concept of Model Forests. Model Forests are voluntary, broad-based initiatives that link forestry, research, agriculture, mining, recreation and other important interests and values within a given landscape.

Canada first developed and launched the Model Forest concept at the Rio Summit in 1992. Today, the International Model Forest Network has grown to include more than 50 Model Forest sites around the world, with regional centres in Canada, Latin America, the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. New Model Forest initiatives are also underway in Northern Europe, including Russia.

Throughout the world, forests are essential to our well-being, and it is our duty to preserve them. The year 2011 offers a unique opportunity to show our appreciation of our forests and to reiterate our commitment to support the sustainable development of this valuable resource for future generations.

This year, let us take time to reflect on the importance of our forests and enjoy their abundance and their great beauty.

For more information on how Canada plans to celebrate the International Year of Forests, please visit our new portal at, and for information on the global celebrations, I invite you to explore the United Nations website at

Media may contact:

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

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