New forestry conservation agreement in Canada
Monte Hummel, President of WWF-Canada, and John W. Weaver, President and CEO of Abitibi-Consolidated Inc., sign agreement on joint forestry conservation programme.
Montreal, Canada - Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. and WWF-Canada today announced that they will work in partnership to identify High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) within specific Abitibi-Consolidated woodlands in Canada. This project was initiated in order to identify appropriate areas for the management and protection of HCVFs.
HCVFs are defined as forests of outstanding and critical importance because of their high environmental, socio-economic, biodiversity, or landscape values. They can range in size from a small stand of trees that are critical local breeding grounds for endangered species, to whole forest tracts necessary for the survival of wide-ranging species. The proper identification, management and monitoring of areas of high conservation value is critical to ensuring healthy biodiversity and maintaining the overall health of ecosystems.
Successful completion of the new project will lead to the use of new forest management processes over the entire 18 million hectares of Abitibi-Consolidated-licensed forests, an achievement that would ensure native plant and animal species, such as the now-threatened woodland caribou, have healthy boreal habitat in which to thrive.
"Abitibi-Consolidated is committed to the sustainability of the natural resources in its care," said President and CEO, John W. Weaver. "We’re very pleased to be working with WWF-Canada to integrate environmental, social and economic considerations in this project, identifying HCVFs and candidate areas for protection within our operations. Ultimately, the objective will be to lead to our organizations to submit a joint proposals for protected areas to the provincial governments."
Monte Hummel, President of WWF-Canada, notes that: "These efforts will help WWF meet our goal of establishing a network of protected areas, especially in Quebec and Ontario. I’m very pleased to see the initiative and commitment to this process from Abitibi-Consolidated, and I’m happy to bring the expertise WWF-Canada has developed to make this assessment possible. In the end, what we learn from this project can be applied to forestry operations across Canada using a standardized and tested HCVF toolkit."
The partnership agreement, signed by Abitibi-Consolidated and WWF-Canada, sets out a timeline and process for the completion of projects on Abitibi-Consolidated’s forest management units in the Saguenay region of Quebec. WWF-Canada will provide its biodiversity and HCVF technical expertise; Abitibi-Consolidated will coordinate logistics, perform a forest and territorial analysis, and draft detailed reports on findings.
Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. is the world’s leading producer of newsprint and value-added paper as well as a major producer of wood products, generating sales of CAD$5.1 billion (US$3.9 billion) in 2002. With 16,000 employees, the Company does business in more than 70 countries. Responsible for the forest management of 18 million hectares, Abitibi-Consolidated is committed to the sustainability of the natural resources in its care. The Company is also the world's largest recycler of newspapers and magazines, serving 17 metropolitan areas with more than 10,000 Paper Retriever® collection points. Abitibi-Consolidated operates 27 paper mills, 21 sawmills, three remanufacturing facilities and one engineered wood facility in Canada, the US, the UK, South Korea, China and Thailand.
For further information:
Manager, Corporate Communications and Media Relations, Abitibi-Consolidated
Tel: +1 514 394 2340
Communication Manager, WWF-Canada
Tel: + 1 416 484 7726