Forests Ontario

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It Takes a Forest

Forests Ontario and Partners Launch Initiative to Increase Public Awareness of Forestry’s Role in Enhancing Social, Economic, and Ecological Well-Being

“It Takes a Forest” is a collaborative led by Forests Ontario in partnership with local individuals and organizations in Central IMG_3333Ontario with a common goal of providing the public with fact-based information on Ontario’s forest sector and the role of our forests as one of the province’s most sustainable resources.

It Takes a Forest’s campaign will highlight the social, economic, and environmental benefits provided by Ontario’s managed forests. The campaign will be featured on four strategically placed billboards across Central Ontario and through social media and a new website (ittakesaforest.ca) where visitors will find more in-depth information and resources related to forests and forestry in Ontario.

The campaign comes in response to The Strategic Counsel’s March 2015 survey in which only 15% of respondents IMG_3344stated that they were familiar with how Ontario’s forests are managed. Furthermore, when asked to comment on whether or not Ontario’s forests are well managed, 62% of respondents were unable to provide an opinion or said they “did not know.”

Key messages of the campaign will include:

  • The role of forest products and sustainable forest management in addressing climate change through carbon sequestration.
  • The surprisingly wide range of products that use wood or wood fibres in their production, such as bath towels, nail polish, toothpaste, LCD screens.
  • The 180,000 career opportunities supported by Ontario’s forestry sector.
  • How sustainable forest management protects and enhances biodiversity.

Ontario is widely recognized as a leader in forest management. Numerous national and international studies by Yale University (How Canada Compares, International Review of Forest Policy and Regulation), Forestry Innovation Investment (Examining the Linkage Between Forest Regulation and Forest Certification Around the World) and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (Status Report on Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) Policy Barriers and Opportunities for EBM in Canada) identify that Ontario uses some of the most advanced forestry standards in the world. The campaign highlights this fact and the benefits that the forest sector provides to local communities, the region, and the province as a whole – with an equal focus on social, economic, and environmental benefits.

“Many people understand that our natural resources support the economy. However, how many are aware that good forest management and the use of wood products is one of the best things they can do to fight climate change?” asks Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario.

Jamie McRae of McRae Lumber adds, “The ability to be the green choice producing local products made by your friends and neighbors is a great story and one that we all need to communicate as much as possible. We can all be proud to be part of the forest sector. We are the stewards of our resources as we ensure the viability of our forests for the next generation.”

The campaign also highlights the place of forests in local economic growth. “Forestry is an economic driver and a cultural touchstone for generations of families living in the area,” says County of Renfrew Warden Peter Emon. “The people of the Ottawa Valley have a long history of managing forests for a variety of values and it’s important that people understand what a great job they do.”

Over the past 20-years, it has been shown that we can simultaneously provide for wildlife habitat, community well-being, outdoor recreation, jobs and a more stable climate – all it takes is a forest, and a dedicated forest sector with the skills and knowledge to make those forests and our communities thrive.

For more information, contact:

Jeannette Holder

Communications Manager, Forests Ontario

Phone: 416-646-1193 ext. 257

Email: jholder@forestsontario.ca

 

Shelley McKay

Director of Communications & Development Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada

Phone: 416-646-1193 ext. 232

Email: smckay@forestsontario.ca

 

Rob Keen, RPF

CEO, Forests Ontario

Ph: 416-646-1193 ext. 230

E: rkeen@forestsontario.ca