Canada’s history, and an important part of our future, depends on our forests. They are a large part of our recreational, cultural and spiritual pursuits. They purify water, stabilize soil, cycle nutrients, moderate climate and store carbon. They sustain wildlife and nurture a rich biological diversity. And, they sustain the livelihoods of more than two hundred thousand individuals. Our forest industry, and the men and women that comprise it, represent a critical piece of this country’s social fabric. Canada was built on the forest sector, and through responsible and innovative management, our forests and our forest sector will continue to generate prosperity for Canadians into the future.
The outlook for Canada’s forest products sector is strong in many areas. Our forest sector now leads in several important bioeconomy fields, as well as technologies such as forest genomics and enhanced forest inventory. Companies of all sizes, including Aboriginal forest businesses, are involved in this trend, showing leadership on bioproducts opportunities and improving efficiency with new technologies. Challenges still exist. And in the face of these challenges, it is innovation, in products, markets, and partnerships that will open up new opportunities and pave the way for success moving forward.
On July 9, 2015, we came together to take stock of progress to date and identify pathways for future collaboration. This Declaration acknowledges the efforts that brought the Canadian forest industry through a challenging economic period, while emphasizing that more work remains to be done. By way of this Declaration, we collectively commit to advancing innovation and the bioeconomy in the forest sector and ensuring this industry continues to be a cornerstone in the lives of Canadians. This will be accomplished by:
- COLLABORATING to accelerate and enhance sustainable, market-driven investments to commercialize process, product and market innovation, with a focus on environmental excellence;
- ENGAGING prospective partners and new entrants in non-traditional industries and academic fields: making concerted efforts to facilitate connections with the forest sector; and
- MOBILIZING the best talent and technologies to address the future needs of the forest sector.
This Declaration sets the stage for the next-wave of action by forest sector stakeholders, across government, industry, academia and research organizations. It serves as a mechanism through which partners can build on each other’s strengths for the challenges and opportunities of the future.
As participants in the 2015 National Forest Innovation Summit, our organizations commit to supporting and advancing forest sector innovation in Canada, in accordance with the principles and spirit of the Kenora Declaration on Forest Innovation.