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Climate Change

As Canada’s forest sector continues to evolve it is subject to the effects of many global forces. A changing climate is one factor that will provide opportunities for and present major threats to Canada’s forests, their economic benefits, and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. Adapting to a changing climate is therefore essential for Canada’s forest sector to remain resilient and vibrant and for our forest industries to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

In 2008, Canada’s premiers, via the Council of the Federation, asked the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) to collaborate on adaptation in forestry. This work was undertaken by the CCFM’s Climate Change Task Force (CCTF), which initiated a two-phase program to respond to the request by the premiers. In October 2014, the CCFM agreed to reconvene the CCTF to commence a third phase of work addressing key climate change adaptation issues identified by the task force at the completion of phase 2.

Phase 1, culminated in 2010 with the publication of two reports:

Phase 2, completed March 2015, addressed adaptation at the forest ecosystem and forest sector levels, responding directly to a key CCFM objective that “consideration of climate change and future climatic variability is needed in all aspects of sustainable forest management” (as described in A Vision for Canada’s Forests: 2008 and Beyond). The primary goal was to provide members of the forest sector with state-of-the-art tools and new knowledge that will allow them to assess the vulnerabilities, risks, and opportunities associated with climate change. The CCFM vulnerability assessment tools and techniques are described in a series of nine inter-related reports, specifically designed for forest management decision-makers:

  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: preparing for the future
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: a systematic approach for exploring organizational readiness
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: a framework for assessing vulnerability and mainstreaming adaptation into decision making
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: scenarios for vulnerability assessment
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: an overview of approaches for assessing human adaptive capacity
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: an analysis of Canadian case studies
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: criteria and indicators in a changing climate
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • Adapting sustainable forest management to climate change: A review of assisted tree migration and its potential role in adapting sustainable forest management to climate change
    (Abstract) (Full Report)
  • New! Climate change and sustainable forest management in Canada: A guidebook for assessing vulnerability and mainstreaming adaptation into decision making
    (Abstract) (Full Report)

These reports have been widely distributed to forestry organizations and are being used to help inform policies and practices.

Phase 3, initiated in 2015, will focus on furthering inter-jurisdictional conversations on integrating climate change into national sustainable forest management criteria and indicators (C&I), enhancing integration of climate change considerations into CCFM Fire and Pest working group outputs, and continuing forestry adaptation networking through support of the Forestry Adaptation Community of Practice (FACoP) site.

The CCTF’s work is intended to catalyze and accelerate the transformation of sustainable forest management policies, planning, and practices in accordance with the needs of various forest management organizations across Canada. We hope that you find this work informative and beneficial.

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