Did you know that forests cover about 1/3 of the land in Canada? Now that’s A LOT of trees! Canada’s forests are home to thousands of different species of plants and animals including caribou, wolverines, bears, lynx, beavers and so many more. But our forests aren’t just for the animals. They are also important for us too!
Forests help us fight climate change, clean our water and give us lots of fresh air to breathe, but they also provide us with the resources to make products we use every day, like lumber to build houses and paper to make books. It would be a lot harder to get these things if we didn’t have forests.
Not only do our forests give us lots of things, they also give Canadians lots of jobs. In fact, over 200,000 Canadians work in the forest industry. This includes engineers, scientists, foresters, and paper manufacturers, just to name a few.
People come from all over the country to work in the forest industry! Together, they make Canada the 4th largest forest products exporter in the world. That means products from Canada’s forests are sent to over 180 countries!
There’s no doubt that forests are important for Canadians, but we have to be very careful about how much we take out of them. If we harvest too much, it can affect the health of the ecosystem, hurting the forests and Canadians too.
Thankfully, there are measures in place to stop that from happening. Canada’s forest regulations and laws are some of the strictest in the world. For example, any time a tree is harvested in Canada, a new one needs to be planted to take its place. In fact, over 600 million seedlings were planted in 2016 alone!
There are also organizations whose job it is to make sure our forests are managed properly. They review the way the forest is harvested and make sure it meets certain environmental, social and economic standards. If it does, then that forest is considered certified and the products from it can have a special label on their packaging.
What can you do?
– When you’re at the store, look for products with CSA, FSC or SFI label on the package. This means it comes from a forest that’s certified.
– Give new life to the products you already have. For example, turn your recycling into gifts and decorations with the Fantastic Crafts and When to Make Them Mission. Accept your Mission today!
Our forests are an important part of our environment, culture and economy, and if we can make sure that they are managed properly and cared for, they can continue to be for future generations.
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