The EOMF's commitment to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through Improved Forest Management (IFM) Practices will help combat climate change, while contributing to the local forest economy and providing for clean drinking water, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
The new partnership with Bluesource Canada, a leading developer of forest carbon and other Greenhouse Gas (GHG) offsets, supports EOMF's vision to promote sustainable forest management practices on private forest lands across Ontario. Aside from reducing GHG emissions through a long-term commitment of sustainable forest management, the development of carbon offsets will also result in a host of other ecosystem service benefits such as clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, and recreation. These benefits will be realized while maintaining a vibrant forest economy by continuing to provide the local mills with a supply of certified wood.
In the partnership, EOMF and Bluesource Canada will provide guidance to those community forests that are interested in pursuing the opportunity. They will also provide a framework for the development of forest carbon offset projects that generates economies of scale. Through the aggregation of multiple community forests, this framework will reduce project costs such as inventory and verification, allowing more money to be re-invested back into the forest.
The first step for a forest to develop carbon offsets through forest carbon protocols is to become certified, making the EOMF an ideal starting point for community forests interested in this opportunity. The EOMF has been promoting sustainable forest management since its inception in 1992, and is a leader in private land forest certification. It started its Certification Program in 2002 and currently holds a Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificate (FSC® C018800) for over 82,000 ha of private forest lands in Ontario including community forests, commercial forest owners, maple syrup producers and private woodlots.
Astrid Nielsen, General Manager of the EOMF describes this as "a great opportunity for those forests who have been going above and beyond in their forest management practices. The income generated from the carbon offsets can be re-invested back into their forests, further improving their standards. It will be an opportunity for forest owners to be recognized for all the good work they have done over the years. It's an easy fit for the EOMF as it builds on our existing Certification Program and is in line with our vision of promoting sustainable management of our forest resource. In addition, this is really exciting as it provides an economic incentive to keep forests on the landscape which is a critical component to combatting climate change."
"Ontario's cap-and-trade program provides a significant opportunity to channel investment in GHG reductions back into our communities in ways that create jobs, contribute to biodiversity and ensure the sustainability of our forest ecosystems", notes Jamie MacKinnon, Vice President of Bluesource Canada. "We are preparing community forests to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change publishes the impending forest carbon protocol for the cap-and-trade market".
Astrid Nielsen, RPF
Eastern Ontario Model Forest