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Message from the Minister of Natural Resources

Canada’s forests play an essential role in the economy of this country and the lives of Canadians, including in Indigenous and rural communities. That has never been clearer than it is today.

The theme of this year’s report, Canada’s forests provide solutions to a changing world, reflects the sector’s resiliency and ingenuity in the face of new and emerging challenges — from the COVID-19 pandemic to global climate change. The forest sector and its workers continued to play an important role throughout the last year, providing critical products to Canadians and their families. From the vital role that forests have in the fight against climate change, to the good, green jobs created by the sector, Canada’s forests are also poised to help transition our economy and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Finding solutions to a changing world requires creative thinking. That is why Canada has committed to planting two billion trees by 2030. Natural climate solutions like this will help us achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, all while improving human well-being and supporting biodiversity across the country.

We need not just creative thinking but also solid estimates and understanding of how our forests can help address climate change. Natural Resources Canada scientists strive to ensure that the methodologies used to monitor and report on Canada’s managed forest carbon balance reflect state-of-the-art science and the best available data. They are committed to continually improving their estimates.

Adaptability has also been key to meeting the challenges facing the forest sector. Through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation, Natural Resources Canada is investing in the bioeconomy, ensuring the sector remains at the forefront of innovation. For example, compostable bioplastics made from wood-based biomass and biodegradable masks are providing an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastics.

As Canada’s forests face the realities of a changing climate and biodiversity loss, researchers are working to mitigate the effects of natural disturbances, such as forest pests and wildland fires, to ensure the long-term protection of our environment. Research and innovative forest and land management practices will help protect our forests and the many benefits they provide to Canadians.

Finding solutions also means working with Indigenous communities and leaders so that forest management and conservation practices are informed by Indigenous knowledge systems. Through the Indigenous Forestry Initiative, Natural Resources Canada is providing financial support to Indigenous-led projects in the forest sector — creating good jobs and supporting the stewardship of our forests.

As this report makes clear, Canada’s forest sector is a key partner in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss and is playing an integral role in the sustainable management of one of our country’s greatest natural resources.

The creativity of the sector is inspiring in the face of these new and emerging challenges. Working together, we will continue to ensure the prosperity of our forests now, and in the future.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources

The State of Canada's Forests Report

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