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Message from the Minister of Natural Resources

As Canadians, our forests permeate our lives, and Canada’s forest sector is an essential economic engine and major employer of Canadians, including in Indigenous and rural communities.

The theme of this year's Report, Adapting to Change, reflects the sector’s ability to respond to new challenges and create new opportunities. This adaptability has been evident during the COVID-19 pandemic as the forest sector, in partnership with the Government of Canada, quickly shifted gears to implement new procedures that ensured the health and safety of workers and communities while completing the tree-planting season. Throughout this period, we continued to work with Indigenous leaders and communities to ensure they could benefit from what the forest sector has to offer.

Adapting to change means finding innovative ways to use traditional waste products from sawmills and pulp mills. In Quebec, for example, the Toundra greenhouse is using waste heat and carbon dioxide from a nearby pulp mill to grow tens of millions of cucumbers each year.

To meet the increasing severity of forest fires, Natural Resources Canada scientists have teamed up with the Canadian Space Agency to create WildFireSat, the world’s first satellite purpose-built to monitor wildfires.

And with the rate of climate change expected to be 10 to 100 times faster than the ability of forests to adapt, researchers are turning to genomics and selective breeding to give our trees a better chance to thrive in changing environments. Meanwhile, our forests will continue to be an essential tool as we combat climate change through natural solutions like the planting of two billion trees over ten years.

Adapting to change also means recognizing the intrinsic value of Indigenous knowledge and incorporating it into current and future practices. Scientists at Natural Resources Canada, together with Laval University, have worked with members of the Pessamit First Nation to create tools and practices for collaborative research.

As this Report makes clear, Canada’s foresters are continuing to adapt — through innovation, imagination and excellence in sustainably managing this precious resource.

Thanks to their efforts, we can look forward to healthy, thriving forests for many generations to come.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan,
Minister of Natural Resources


Table of contents — The State of Canada's Forests Report

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