Boreal

WCS Canada Comments - Forest Degradation (followup 3)

Harris, L., Palmer, L., Poley, L., & Ray, J.


Abstract

WCS Canada’s recommendations to the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers on the draft definition of the term “forest degradation” and indicators for its assessment in response to their updated indicators presented at a meeting in February 2024. Our comments follow an initial workshop in June 2023 and previous comments submitted in April, July, and September 2023.

Key points

  1. We reiterate what we have previously conveyed that ecological integrity must be the benchmark and corollary of forest degradation.
  2. We recommend adjustments to the Feb. 2014 CCFM indicators for Forest Productivity, Structure & Composition, Relative Abundance of Indicator Species, Carbon, Disturbance, Soil Health and Water Quality & Quantity, and Socioeconomics.
  3. Many of our recommended indicators have high readiness for use within one year. Most of the others could take up to two years for their development.
  4. We have provided considerations for how to operationalize the definition indicators.
  5. We do not support the suggested approach to make the definition adaptable to forest management or forest products trade authorities. Issues associated with forest products markets must be addressed separately so as to maintain the credibility and quality of the definition.

Recommended citation

Harris, L., Palmer, L., Poley, L., & Ray, J. (2024). WCS Canada Comments - Forest Degradation (followup 3). WCS Canada. https://wcscanada.org/resources/wcs-canada-comments-forest-degradation-followup-3/

Lorna Harris

Lorna Harris

Director of Forests, Peatlands and Climate Change Program

Lynn Palmer

Lynn Palmer

Forests and Regional Policy Specialist

Lucy Poley

Lucy Poley

Canada KBA Ecosystems Criteria Coordinator

Justina Ray

Justina Ray

President & Senior Scientist