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From the Ground Up: The Story of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

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From the Ground Up: The Story of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
Table of Contents
Executive Summary!................................................................................................................................!2!
I. Introduction – The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement!............................................................!4!
Purpose and Background of the Case Study!................................................................................................!5!
Structure of the Case Study!.............................................................................................................................!5!
II. The Set-Up: History and Preconditions for Engagement!.........................................................!6!
History and Underlying Conditions in Canada!...........................................................................................!6!
Canada’s Boreal Forest: Nationally and Globally Significant!............................................................................!7!
Forest Management and the Forest Sector!.................................................................................................................!8!
Forest Activism in Canada!..............................................................................................................................................!9!
Protected Spaces and Endangered Species: New Law and Policy!.................................................................!12!
The Players: Who Was Involved in the CBFA!.........................................................................................!13!
Precursors to the CBFA: Preparing the Ground through Collaboration!..........................................!15!
III. The Window of Opportunity!.......................................................................................................!16!
IV. Negotiating the World’s Largest Forest Agreement: The Path from Conflict to
The Art of the Possible!...................................................................................................................................!18!
Industry Caucus: Dynamics, Goals and Interests!....................................................................................!20!
ENGO Caucus: Dynamics, Goals and Interests!.......................................................................................!22!
Phases of the CBFA Negotiations!................................................................................................................!23!
Establishing A Common Vision!...................................................................................................................!24!
The Grind: Finding Agreement Amidst Difference!.................................................................................!26!
Interest-Based Negotiation!...........................................................................................................................................!27!
Organizational Structure and Process Supports!....................................................................................................!32!
The Role of Key Organizations!....................................................................................................................!33!
Getting Closure: Signing the Agreement!...................................................................................................!34!
V. A Living Agreement!........................................................................................................................!35!
The Goals of the CBFA!..................................................................................................................................!35!
Implementing The Agreement: A Joint Position and Workplan!..........................................................!36!
Possibilities and Limitations of the Agreement!........................................................................................!38!
Application to Elsewhere!...............................................................................................................................!40!
VI. Conclusion!.......................................................................................................................................!42!
Executive Summary
This case study describes how 21 forest companies, led by the Forest Products Association of
Canada (FPAC), and a coalition of 9 Canadian environmental non-governmental organizations
(ENGOs), came to negotiate The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA). This 2010
Agreement – called ‘the world’s largest conservation agreement’ – aimed to reduce immediate
ecological threats from logging in the Boreal forest and implement further shared goals in 72
million hectares of Canada’s forests. The objective of this case study is to describe the underlying
conditions and dynamics leading up to the signing of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, so
that others can learn from it.
Several underlying conditions led to a window of opportunity in 2008, when CBFA negotiations
were formally initiated. The Boreal forest was a critical fibre source for many companies in the
Canadian forest sector, and it was also ecologically important to ENGOs, both as habitat for
endangered woodland Caribou herds and as the world’s largest region of intact forest and
wetlands. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction over land use policies meant forest management
policy was fragmented throughout the Boreal, posing challenges to companies wanting
streamlined operations, and to ENGOs concerned about Caribou survival and ecological health.
Many forest analysts consider that the last decade has seen the worst crisis in the industry’s
history, with mill closures, poor financial returns, and enormous direct job losses. The financial
crisis of 2008-09, the crash of the US housing market, and the ongoing contraction of the North
American paper sector, brought company and sector competitiveness needs to the forefront, and
challenged the survival of some companies.
Meanwhile, land-use planning legislation in different provinces, and looming species recovery
requirements under Federal Species at Risk (SARA) legislation signaled new planning
requirements for the forest sector. This occurred as public awareness about extinction threats to
Caribou was being raised by ENGOs. Forests were also increasingly recognized for their
importance to climate change because of their carbon storage role, and wood was perceived as a
low-carbon building material. During the mid-2000s, the international market campaigns led by
ENGOs threatened to further damage Canada’s brand, creating additional marketplace risk for
companies logging in the Boreal. Between 2000-2008, FPAC was pursued initiatives to remake
the forest products industry with an innovative, more socially conscious image including climate
change mitigation, building relationships with First Nations, and pursuit of comprehensive forest
certification. These underlying conditions and dynamics created marketplace and political
opportunities to address conflict between the forest sector and environmental interests in a new
way. Six additional precursors to the CBFA were identified as important sites of collaboration
and relationship development between forest companies and ENGOs: the Boreal Forest
Conservation Framework, the Forest Stewardship Council, the National Recovery Strategy for
Caribou, and three other multi-stakeholder land use planning processes across Canada - BC’s
Great Bear Rainforest Agreements, Nova Scotia’s Colin Steward Forest Forum, and Ontario’s
Lands for Life process.
Overall, based on interviews with CBFA signatories, three key drivers stand out as having
catalyzed the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement negotiations - the threat of market campaigns
against Canadian boreal wood, new land-use planning policies and Caribou recovery planning
requirements under SARA, and FPAC’s leadership in instigating talks with ENGOs and in
initiating internal change processes within the forest sector.
The forest industry and ENGO caucuses brought diverse goals into the CBFA negotiations.
Several phases took place in the negotiations process, with two of most difficult issues the parties
faced being 1) the definition of logging deferral areas in caribou habitat and campaign
suspensions, and 2) coming to agreement on forest certification and marketplace
communications. Important elements of the negotiations included establishing common vision,
investing in trust and relationships, learning to negotiate from interests, having effective structure
and process supports, and the particular leadership roles played by key individuals and
On May 18, 2010 the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was signed. The Agreement contained
six goals and immediately accomplished two key outcomes. Environmental organizations gained
a halt to logging in the 28 million hectares of threatened Caribou habitat, and the industry got a
commitment from ENGOs to shut down their “Do Not Buy” markets campaigns. The six
Agreement goals mapped out a new working relationship with both parties, advancing shared
aspirations. Goals address sustainable forest practices, completion of protected areas, recovery of
species at risk, GHG Reductions, improving prosperity for the forest sector and communities
dependent upon it, and marketplace recognition. The CBFA described extensive mutual systems
of accountability between the parties, primarily through agreed-upon milestones connected to
each goal, and commitment to independent assessment and reporting about the progress towards
mutual goals. During more than three years of implementation, the CBFA has faced internal
challenges, many of which are related to the time and resources required to meet their ambitious
milestones and timelines. Agreement signatories also face the difficulty that most of the goals set
out require new policies to be enacted by government, and sometimes First Nations. Due to these
internal and external challenges, upon the Agreement’s third anniversary, many of the agreed-
upon milestones had not been met, and no new regulations or protected areas had been legislated.
This failure of progress has caused two markets campaign ENGOs, Greenpeace and Canopy, to
abandon the CBFA. Other signatories remain committed to the process.
As a new model of management, many questions remain as to the overall depth of impact of the
CBFA. However, the Agreement was successful in shifting an entire sector from conflict to
collaboration, and stands as a significant accomplishment. The final section in the case explores
how the model might be applied elsewhere, summarizing the general characteristics and context
involved in such a process, and identifying factors that may influence it success.
I. Introduction The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
The 21st century promises to be a time of crisis and change, particularly in how humanity
addresses the complex and linked challenges of advancing human development, economic
prosperity, and ecological health. One important question to be answered is how can humans
effectively steward large, trans-boundary ecological systems such as forests, oceans, and the
atmosphere? This case study describes how the Canadian forest sector and a coalition of
environmental organizations and forest companies took bold steps towards sustainable and
carbon-responsible management in Canada’s Boreal forest – the world’s largest intact forest
region. The parties transformed conflict into solutions, crafting the Canadian Boreal Forest
Agreement in order to implement mutual goals for the future and reduce immediate ecological
threats from logging in the Boreal forest.
Canada’s Boreal forest has significant economic, social and ecological values. The existing
approach to forest management in the Boreal was failing to protect endangered Woodland
Caribou, a key indicator of the health of the broader forest ecosystem. Conflict intensified over
the future of the forest, as new logging allocations to forest companies loomed, environmental
organizations took their message of ecological threat to the Canadian public and international
customers, and new policies to protect endangered species emerged from national and provincial
governments. Changing global markets also created pressure for forest products companies in
Canada to define new roles for themselves, and key industry leaders saw the opportunity to gain
operational certainty and take leadership on sustainability and climate issues through direct
engagement with environmental organizations (ENGOs). The forest sector in Canada, led by the
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), began to imagine the possibility of collaborating
with environmentalists to define a different future that could meaningfully conserve the Boreal
forest and improve the prosperity of the forest industry.
Touted as the “largest conservation agreement the world has ever seen1”, the Canadian Boreal
Forest Agreement (CBFA) was signed on May 18, 2010, at the time encompassing 72 million
hectares2 of public forests licensed to FPAC member companies. Under the umbrella of FPAC,
21 forest companies participated in a solution-finding process, negotiating with a coalition of
nine environmental organizations and funders3 to determine goals and principles that would
position Canada’s Boreal Forest as a world-class model for sustainable forest management and
conservation. Outcomes of the Agreement, which took over two years to negotiate, included
voluntary logging deferrals by companies of 28 million hectares (98%) of Boreal woodland
caribou rangelands, and suspension of “do not buy” markets campaigns against FPAC
companies. Signatories agreed to collaborate for at least three years to advance an ambitious set
of six goals, to be coordinated through a joint CBFA Secretariat structure. Agreement goals and
their associated milestones were intended to advance world-leading forest practices and land
protection, support recovery of Woodland Caribou and other species-at-risk, reduce industry
greenhouse gas emissions, improve forest sector prosperity, and create marketplace recognition
and benefits for CBFA signatory companies.
The objective of this case study is to describe the underlying conditions and dynamics leading up
to the signing of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement so that others can learn from it. A
complex combination of economic, social, political and ecological conditions gave rise to the
Agreement. This case study identifies the underlying conditions that converged into an
opportunity, describing the path leading to collaboration between the forest sector and
environmental organizations, as well as the building blocks which enabled a new vision for the
Boreal to emerge – from innovative models that were precursors to the deal, to specific catalysts,
to the qualities of individual and organizational leadership that were required during interest-
based negotiations. Finally, transferrable aspects of this case are highlighted, which could inform
application of the model to other issues, industries or regions.
Purpose and Background of the Case Study
The case study aims to capture important history, offer context to ongoing CBFA implementation
efforts, and provide lessons to inform how other resource sectors, governments and
environmental organizations are pursuing sustainability agendas. While the CBFA negotiations
involved two parties who are now together working to achieve policy and forest practice changes,
the case contains lessons for any form of multi-sector engagement, including efforts by
governments to more directly involve stakeholders to pursue innovative public policy directions.
Audiences that may be interested in the case include company leaders in other resource sectors;
government representatives; civil society leaders; funders; and academics who are studying
resource conflicts, new policy approaches, business or social innovation, multi-stakeholder
negotiations, or environmental movements. The sections on History and Underlying Conditions
as well as the section on Application to Elsewhere may be of particular interest to those assessing
whether to explore such a model. The section Negotiation: Walking the Path from Conflict to
Collaboration is a distillation of important processes lessons learned during the interest-based
negotiations process, and would therefore be of interest to those engaged in or building capacity
for a similar process.
The case study was funded in part by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. It is part of the
PhD research of the author, Darcy Riddell, through the University of Waterloo’s Environment
and Resource Studies department. The author’s research is supported by the Social Sciences and
Humanities Resources Council (SSHRC). The case is based on review of historical
documentation and a series of 20 interviews4 conducted between 2011-2012 with the CBFA
signatories and others central to the negotiations process. Interviewees include representatives of
participating foundations, senior forest company executives and environmental campaigners,
staff and leadership of the Forest Products Association of Canada, and the process facilitator. The
interviews were coded using grounded theory, and qualitatively analyzed for emerging themes
and patterns. Potential sources of bias in data analysis include lack of interviews with several
participants in the process, and lack of interviews with observers outside the process. The author
held past positions with CBFA signatory groups ForestEthics and Greenpeace (before the period
of the CBFA), and was a founding steering committee member of Canopy (formerly Markets
Initiative). To add to the rigour of the data and analysis the case study is being reviewed by forest
industry and ENGO representatives and CBFAS staff, and feedback will be incorporated. The
author takes responsibility for any errors or misinterpretations.
Structure of the Case Study
This case study tells the story of the period between 2007-2010 when the Canadian Boreal Forest
Agreement was developed, and describes relevant history that preceded the conflict and
opportunity context for the Boreal forest. The case begins by describing the underlying
conditions and history in Canada that gave rise to the Agreement, as well as three significant
catalysts or drivers of change. This created a window of opportunity for collaboration when the
parties involved assessed the risks and benefits of collaboration, clarified which forest companies
and environmental organizations would participate in a negotiated solution, and scoped out the
goals and parameters of a potential Agreement. The phases and important aspects of the
negotiations process – which include establishing common vision, interest-based negotiation, the
critical role of leadership, and the key institutional role of particular organizations – are then
described. Finally, the CBFA as A Living Agreement is described, with particular attention to its
Six Goals, the context of Agreement implementation, and its possibilities and limitations. The
conditions, drivers, and important elements of negotiations are then distilled into a framework for
thinking about how to advance similar processes elsewhere.
II. The Set-Up: History and Preconditions for Engagement
The scale and scope of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) is enormous,
encompassing 72 million hectares of forest stretching from Newfoundland to the Yukon territory,
seven provincial and territorial government jurisdictions and about 600 communities, mostly
made up of First Nations or aboriginal people. Original CBFA Signatories were 21 forest
companies, led by the Forest Products Association of Canada, and 9 Canadian ENGOs that
operate regionally, nationally or internationally, all with different priorities and interests. In order
for this group of competitor companies, and the geographically and strategically varied
environmental organizations to come to agreement, many conditions and drivers of change had to
coincide. These underlying conditions and drivers operated across scales at global, national,
organizational and individual levels, creating an opportunity to look at the issue differently, take
new risks and engage directly in collaborative solution-building. This section looks at the array
of underlying influences and historical conditions that led to the CBFA.
History and Underlying Conditions in Canada
The particular history and underlying conditions that catalyzed this large-scale collaboration
between the Canadian forest sector and ENGOs are described below. The global significance of
Canada’s Boreal forest and the role and structure of the forest industry in Canada are explained,
as well as some of the history of conflicts over land-use, and the state of legislation and planning
processes in the Boreal. Several relevant land use planning models negotiated prior to the CBFA
are identified, as they partially influenced the Boreal Agreement’s form and the negotiating
parties’ belief in the possibility of reaching a collaborative agreement. These models provided
some important lessons and deepened working relationships that fed into the agreement for
Boreal forestlands.
Canada’s Boreal Forest: Nationally and Globally Significant
Canada is one of only three countries in the world, along with Brazil and Russia, with significant
amounts of intact forestland.5 Canada’s 310 million hectares of Boreal forest is the largest intact
area of forest and wetlands in the world, dotted with over one million lakes.6 The Boreal extends
east to west in a swath 1,000 km wide, from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Yukon
Territory.7 The forest encompasses the traditional territory of about 150 First Nations, and the
land and resources of the Boreal are critical to their cultures and their future. These forests of
pine, spruce, aspen, poplar and larch are breeding grounds to 30% of North America’s birds, and
support 325 unique bird species – including billions of migratory songbirds. More than 208
billion tonnes of carbon are stored in the region’s trees, soils, wetlands and peat – equivalent to
26 years’ worth of global greenhouse gas emissions.8
Woodland Caribou are the most iconic animal species in the Boreal forest. Caribou are an
indicator species – when populations are healthy, it signals a healthy forest. Despite having vast
rangelands distributed across Canada in seven provinces and two territories, woodland Caribou
are highly vulnerable to habitat disturbance from industrial development. Most populations in
Canada have been in significant decline. The largest threats to Caribou health include the
intensive oil and gas development in Alberta’s oil sands and northeastern British Columbia, and
road-building and logging activities elsewhere throughout the Boreal9. The importance of
Canada’s Boreal forest both ecologically and biophysically, combined with increasing threats to
caribou, catalyzed ENGO campaigns. ENGOs invested in public campaigns and educate buyers
of Canadian wood products about risks to the forests’ health if industrial development and the
policy direction continued. Through its chapters across Canada, the Canadian Parks and
Wilderness raised public awareness about threats to Caribou, calling on governments to protect
them and the forests they depend on.
The parties concerned with the Boreal forest faced a lack of robust ecological knowledge about
the vast region, particularly about cumulative or interacting industrial impacts. This type of data
is often not collected or shared by industry and/or government. The Species At Risk Act (SARA)
of 2005 was a catalyst for better scientific information to be gathered on specific species, such as
woodland Caribou, but an overall lack of information across jurisdictions added complexity and
time to the eventual CBFA negotiations. In 2008, the Scientific Review for the Identification of
Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou was produced under SARA10, which found that Canada’s
Woodland Caribou had been eliminated from 50% of their range due primarily to habitat loss,
and that they have a poor chance of survival in more than half of their remaining range.
Federally mandated recovery planning for Caribou under SARA was to become an important
catalyst for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
Forest Management and the Forest Sector
Canada is the world’s largest exporter of forest products11. Canada’s forestlands are about 93%
publicly owned (77% under provincial jurisdiction and 16% under federal jurisdiction, with
increasing aboriginal jurisdiction). Historically, forestlands have been managed intensively
according to sustained yield principles, and clearcutting has been the predominant logging
practice. The specifics of land tenure vary across Canada; but generally, companies have had
long-term area- or volume-based tenures, and pay government for the right to harvest trees.
Forest companies follow laws guiding tenure, permitting, operations, and silviculture that differ
from province to province. Due to public ownership of forestlands, certainty around cutting rights
and regulations is an important source of sector and company stability. The Boreal represented an
important source of long-term fibre-supply to the forest sector, and certainty of access to this
supply was valuable to companies operating here. However, the northern Boreal forest was also
the last great swath of Canadian “wilderness”, setting up a conflict between the interests of the
forest companies and the interests of environmental organizations.
In the last several decades, much of the southern Boreal was allocated to forest companies in
tenures, largely without a full public process. By 2005, 45% of the Boreal forest was allocated to
industrial development, and provincial governments across Canada were moving to allocate their
remaining northern forests. Across the Boreal there was already a patchwork of jurisdictions with
differing rules and regulations for forest practices and land management. This exacerbated
ecological threats to vulnerable species such as Woodland Caribou, due to lack of coordinated
planning and knowledge-sharing. Fragmented jurisdiction also meant additional administrative,
planning and operational requirements for forest companies to meet, adding time and cost to their
The forest sector has historically been a crucial part of Canada’s resource economy, both through
export earnings and due to its role sustaining jobs in smaller northern towns. Canada leads the
world in exports of lumber, pulp and newsprint, which comprise 1.8% of the overall GDP, 12 and
almost 12 percent of the manufacturing GDP13. This export dependency, especially on the United
States, has made the industry vulnerable to economic upheavals, particularly the loss of lumber
sales due to the decline of residential housing starts in the US, and the rise of the Canadian dollar.
Forest products markets are highly globalized, and distant forces influence the sector. Important
influences include changing global demographics and consumption patterns, the rise of fast-
growing southern plantations, competition with other materials, changing labour and regulatory
pressures, and product innovation trends14. These pressures caused significant change in the
structure of the Canadian forest sector between 1995-2010.
Many forest analysts consider that the last decade has seen the worst crisis in the industry’s
history, with mill closures, poor financial returns, and enormous direct job losses.15 In the year
2000 the Canadian forest sector supported 367,400 direct jobs, and by 2010 this had plummeted
to roughly 200,000.16 The financial crisis of 2008-09, the crash of the US housing market (which
hit an all-time low in 2009), and the ongoing contraction of the North American paper sector
were converging on Canadian forest companies. The crisis brought company and sector
competitiveness needs further to the forefront, and challenged the survival of some companies.
Partially in response to these declines, the forest industry and Canada’s Ministry of Natural
Resources pursued an agenda of diversification by investing in bioenergy, biochemicals and other
innovative forest products, and increased focus on emerging markets such as China and South
Korea. In the 10-year vision for the forest industry released in 2008, the two industry priorities
were identified as forest sector transformation and climate change17. Forests were increasingly
recognized for their importance to climate change because of the carbon storage role of forests.
Wood was proving to be a viable alternative to fossil-fuel energy to power the industry, and
future assumptions about a carbon-constrained marketplace had the potential to raise wood’s
status as a lower-carbon alternative to steel, aluminum, plastic, concrete and other fossil-fuel
intensive products.
In light of a decade of massive job losses, changing markets, poor financial returns, and the need
for innovation, there was a sense among some industry leaders that the industry had to reinvent
itself. The opportunity to gain competitive advantage by branding Canadian wood as
ecologically sound and carbon-responsible was an attractive possibility for FPAC and its member
companies. The industry was aware of the impacts that climate change could have on the
valuation of forests, and their increasingly important future role both as carbon sinks and energy
sources. They began to perceive the benefits of proactively engaging on climate and energy
issues, in partnership with the environmental community, in order to advance Canada’s
international brand as a preferred global source of sustainable wood and paper products.
Forest Activism in Canada
Given the extractive nature of Canada’s economy, a primary focus of Canadian environmentalism
has been wilderness conservation and land management. Over the last several decades, the
movement to conserve forests and manage lands sustainably has involved community-based and
environmental protests across Canada – which is sometimes referred to as the “War in the
Controversy over Canadian wilderness in the 1980s and ‘90s focused on such hotspots as
Ontario’s Temagami wilderness, and British Columbia’s (BC’s) coastal rainforests. In the
Temagami wilderness, controversy erupted over clearcutting old growth forests. Between 1988-
1989, 300 people were arrested in Temagami as they blockaded logging roads. In BC’s
Clayoquot Sound, over 900 people were arrested trying to stop some of the last intact rainforest
valleys on Vancouver Island from being logged. Valley-by-valley protection efforts gained
media and public attention from stories of conflict and arrests, but some environmentalists began
to question the breadth of their impact and sought longer-term influence over forest policy. One
environmental representative involved in Boreal negotiations described a sense of futility that
grew from the valley-by-valley approach: “You get so many people arrested, you get something
protected, but as soon as that pressure died down, you’d see roll-back of any significant changes
that there were occurring.” By the 1990s, environmentalists were seeking to go beyond regional
and conserve forests on a larger scale.
Partly in response to growing public controversy through the 1990s, governments in BC and
Ontario initiated multi-stakeholder planning processes to enshrine land use designations based on
multiple public values. Provincial land use planning promised to incorporate the interests of
many stakeholders, provide certainty for industry, achieve lasting political compromise, and
complete a protected area networks, usually with a target of about 12% protection. While these
processes offered a legislative context for conservation and regulatory change, their reliance on
existing paradigms of industrial forestry often limited conservation efforts of ENGOs. Direct
conflicts between parks creation and logging proved difficult for governments to navigate. In
Ontario, 11th hour efforts to save the ‘Lands for Life’ planning process led to stepping away from
the multi-sector process and for private negotiations to be initiated among the three largest forest
companies, ENGO representatives and the provincial government. They negotiated a deal,
announced in 1999 as the Ontario Forest Accord.18 The Ontario Forest Accord was an early
Canadian example of how direct negotiations between industry and ENGOs generated
agreements that advanced conservation and socio-economic interests.
In Clayoquot Sound, blockades and public protest, and mass arrests did not lead to substantial
forest conservation. It took a new set of ENGO strategies to reach peace in the coastal rainforests
– markets campaigns. Perceiving limited conservation impacts from existing planning processes,
and feeling powerless to reduce the high rates of cut maintained by provincial governments and
the forest industry, environmentalists developed markets campaigns as a new form of power and
leverage. As one west coast forest company representative observed, “The ENGOs did one very
smart thing back in the late ‘90s. They didn't necessarily stop blockading logging roads or
chaining themselves to D-9 CATs or those kind of things, but they still changed what they were
doing and started to focus on the customers.” Through “do not buy” campaigns targeting high-
profile retailers of forest products and their customers, ENGOs directly impacted forest
companies’ business, and ultimately enabled them to influence forest policy in British Columbia.
From 1994-2000, the markets campaigns of Greenpeace, ForestEthics, Rainforest Action
Network and others targeting products from British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest resulted in
hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contract cancellations. In an effort to prevent product
demand from simply shifting to less regulated forest regions, environmentalists’ campaigns also
sought commitments from customers to source third-party certified products, through the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC). In 1999, Home Depot, the world’s largest solid wood buyer,
committed to stop buying wood from controversial endangered forest regions and to seek FSC-
certified wood products, and many other Fortune 500 companies followed suit. Large office
supply chains such as Staples were also targeted, in order to shift pulp demand.
Forest certification efforts had been growing since the mid-1990s, to track chain of custody and
ensure customers of good forest management. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was
founded in 1993 by groups including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, and has been the
certification system of choice for the environmental movement. The Canadian Standards
Association (CSA) certification was introduced in 1996, since then, Sustainable Forestry
Initiative (SFI) emerged as an industry-sponsored alternative. Competition between certification
systems was intense, and has been dubbed the ‘Certification Wars’ by some observers, as the
environmental movement and the forest industry engaged in communications battles over which
system was superior (See Negotiations Snapshot #2 for more on this). In Canada, FPAC had
made certification a requirement of membership for companies, and many companies had several
certifications. By 2008, Canada had more FSC-certified land than any other country – at 25% of
the world total, and 25 million hectares.19 While other certifiers had greater volume, FSC was
winning the ENGOs’ public relations battle – becoming a preferred choice of values-sensitive
European markets, and dominating the global paper market. ENGOs also ran campaigns in the
US against SFI, urging customers not to support the certification label.
By 2004, markets campaign groups had turned their sights to the huge tracts of Boreal forest in
Canada’s north. Both Greenpeace and ForestEthics launched so-called “Do Not Buy” markets
campaigns that targeted either forest companies logging in the Boreal, or customer companies
who bought pulp originating from endangered Caribou habitat. Pulp derived from the Boreal was
sought after by big brands in the magazine and paper industry. ForestEthics targeted West Fraser
Timber Co. and Weyerhauser, because their pulp originated from woodland caribou habitat.
Some of this pulp ended up in the popular Victoria’s Secret lingerie catalogue. In 2004 when the
ForestEthics campaign began, Victoria’s Secret was mailing one million catalogues per day,
much of it sourced from Canadian pulp. In the same year, Greenpeace began their international
Kleercut campaign against Kimberly-Clarke’s Kleenex brand, and also launched a campaign
against Quebec-based AbitibiBowater in 2007. Marketplace campaigns involved research to
track pulp and identify bad actor companies, related publications and media, grassroots and
student protests, “Do Not Buy” communications to shareholders and executives urging them to
divest of Boreal forest sources, and controversial media campaigns spoofing popular brands.
Meanwhile, groups such as the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) and the Canadian Parks and
Wilderness Society (CPAWS) were gaining momentum with public campaigns, supported by
significant long-term funder investments through Pew Charitable Trusts and the Ivey Foundation.
These organizations also worked with industry, First Nations and other stakeholders to advance a
conservation vision for the Boreal forest (which became the Boreal Conservation Framework
Agreement in 2003), and developed joint science and planning to support Caribou recovery under
the Species at Risk Act of 2005. Public campaigns were launched to raise Canadians’ awareness
about threats to Woodland Caribou, and the provincial government and industry faced increasing
criticism by ENGOs for the management of Boreal Forest ecosystems. Environmental
organizations were also concerned about climate change – as it related to Canada’s Boreal forest,
and as a broader policy issue. With public concern about climate change peaking in 2006-7 in
the US and Canada20, climate change was relatively high on the public and political agenda.
Environmentalists’ Boreal campaigns were not going unchallenged. Forest companies and their
representatives spent millions of dollars countering what they called false claims to customers21.
In 2006, when Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, Limited Brands, declared they would stop
buying Boreal-sourced pulp from the Hinton mill in Alberta, the Forest Products Association of
Canada charged that ForestEthics was campaigning with distorted information, countering that
Canada had no net deforestation, and was a world leader in sustainable forestry techniques.22 At
this point within FPAC, four of the eight major operators in the Boreal forest were facing
campaigns against their products, with varying degrees of impact. One ENGO representative
framed it this way:
“On the market side, between Canopy’s work on newsprint, Greenpeace’s work on
tissue paper and toilet paper, ForestEthics’ work on magazines and catalogs, and
Rainforest Action Network’s work on lumber—we had harnessed a good portion of
the marketplace to be concerned, and some of the largest and most high-profile
customers in the world. Many of them had already started canceling multi-million
dollar contracts.
The executives of Limited Brands held meetings with forest company executives and provincial
decision-makers to advocate for Boreal conservation. While it is difficult to measure the actual
cost to companies from contract cancellations or lost business opportunities due to the perception
of controversy, there was undoubtedly a growing sense of risk within the Canadian forest
industry over how costly campaigns might get. Some brands were being damaged, and customer
relations were strained or consuming additional time and energy to maintain. The marketplace
risk was keenly felt by western Canadian companies, which one ENGO leader described as
suffering from a “hangover” from the highly polarizing rhetoric and damaging campaigns
focused on BC’s rainforests in Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest. Particularly in
the Great Bear Rainforest, conflict was perceived to have spiraled out of control and forest
companies grudgingly entered a negotiations process with ENGOs, feeling they had few choices
and little power. This led to the ambitious Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which some
industry representatives feel did not protect industry’s interests. Key industry leaders began to
believe it was strategic to engage ENGOs earlier, from a more powerful position, in an effort to
curtail the possible negative effects of Boreal markets campaigns.
As markets campaigns gained some momentum, the Canadian forest industry experienced
ongoing erosion of social capital or social license – primarily in international markets. One
industry representative noted that “Brand Canada was being tarnished” and this even impacted
companies selling the ENGO-endorsed FSC-certified Boreal wood. Another said, “We felt there
was a risk, that you know, increasingly it was becoming a Canada issue, and not just an
individual company issue”. This emerging sense of industry risk and the desire to prevent the
ENGOs’ markets campaigns from gaining more power became one of the critical drivers leading
to CBFA negotiations. Between 2006 and 2007 forest companies asked FPAC to develop a
public relations ‘counter-spin’ campaign to challenge environmentalists’ claims. However, this
also set the stage for early industry discussions about the value of alternatives to costly public
relations battles where outcomes were uncertain, and exploring the possibility of direct
engagement with environmental organizations.
Protected Spaces and Endangered Species: New Law and Policy
The development of new legislation nationally and provincially was another important driver for
the forest sector and ENGOs to enter Boreal negotiations. Increased public awareness and
marketplace scrutiny had spurred the creation of new legislation to protect the Boreal ecosystem
and species at risk, in particular Woodland Caribou. New laws and policies were enacted or
imminent across Canada, focused on species recovery. Nationally, Woodland Caribou were listed
as threatened under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA) in 2003. This required the
provinces to create regional recovery plans with statutory deadlines. Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec,
and Newfoundland had also developed new endangered species acts, with Woodland Caribou
listed as a priority species. This would certainly have economic and harvesting impacts on
forestlands that were habitat for caribou.
Northern Boreal forest allocation was pending across the country, including through Ontario’s
Far North Planning Initiative23 and Quebec’s Plan Nord – which sets out goals of dedicating 50%
of the area to non-industrial uses, with a 12% goal for the area’s Boreal forest24. In 2008, Alberta
announced a new Land Use Framework25 that targeted 20% of the Boreal to be protected. This
presented a new opportunity context (and possible imminent risk) for advocates of Caribou
habitat conservation. In the southern Boreal, allocations had already taken place without
comprehensive ecosystem-based planning or endangered species protection. Environmentalists
were looking for opportunities for large-scale conservation in the north, and hoped to challenge
existing southern Boreal land use designations by revisiting practices in the entire region –
making a pan-boreal, company-wide process attractive.
It was clear to many in industry and ENGOs in the period between 2002-2008 that the
opportunity landscape in the Boreal forest was changing. There were fears both parties that
government-led plans would be less than adequate to advance their interests; however, the time
was clearly ripe to take action on Woodland Caribou. Jurisdictional fragmentation in the Boreal
forest was identified as a hurdle to effective Caribou conservation, motivating ENGOs to engage
directly with industry. Furthermore, because the provincial jurisdictions did not have coordinated
approaches, industry faced new, different and potentially burdensome regulations across their
operating areas. One FPAC representative observed that this legislative uncertainty was the most
significant underlying condition spurring industry to seek a Boreal-wide solution. Overall, the
opportunity to mitigate legislative, campaign, and marketplace uncertainty and to define a more
desirable future was described by company representatives as the key motivator to engage in a bi-
lateral solution-finding process with ENGOs.
The Players: Who Was Involved in the CBFA
Within this context of economic uncertainty, changes in legislation, widespread concern about
climate change, and the increasing momentum of ENGO market campaigns, by 2007 the stage
was set for a new direction. Exploratory conversations began between key industry leaders and
environmentalists in 2007 about the possibility of a “Boreal Covenant” or other form of forest
accord. While the individual forest companies had significant capacity to engage in negotiations,
there were questions about the capacity of ENGOs to engage in and fulfill a complex, long-term
agreement. Some of the ENGO capacity is described below, as well as the important preparatory
and strategic leadership role played by FPAC in pursuing a collaborative process with
environmental organizations.
Canadian environmental groups have grown increasingly strategic, professional, and
knowledgeable over the last several decades, with the help of improved fundraising from both
individuals and philanthropic organizations. A senior foundation representative characterized the
cadre of Canadian environmentalists working on the Boreal as one of the most skilled and
sophisticated group forest conservation advocates working anywhere in the world. The
environmental organizations focused on the Boreal had depth of experience delivering
collaborative campaigns, and important working relationships and trust had developed among
different national and regional groups. Together, the Canadian Parks & Wilderness
Society/Wildlands League, David Suzuki Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy, along with
markets campaign groups ForestEthics, Canopy26, and Greenpeace27, undertook what one
interviewee framed as the ‘largest national environmental collaboration ever attempted in
Two philanthropic foundations supporting ENGOs were also key players in advancing the CBFA
– the Ivey Foundation and Pew Environment Group. The Ivey Foundation’s primary focus was
on Boreal forest conservation, and Pew had invested a decade of work into advancing science and
collaboration through the Canadian Boreal Initiative and the International Boreal Conservation
Campaign. Pew also provided funding to markets campaign groups such as ForestEthics and
Canopy. Both foundations had experienced senior staff with track records of successful
participation in negotiated land use planning (Pew in Alaska, and Ivey with Lands for Life).
Foundation representatives played important roles as initial brokers, acted as full participants in
the negotiations, and provided financial support to the ENGO caucus at the negotiations table.
Industry leaders saw environmental funders as potential partners, who could influence the
environmental movement away from adversarial approaches, given the right incentives. Funder
interest in finding alternatives to conflict was described as a powerful motivator by some
company representatives – providing them a measure of confidence to enter a negotiated
solutions process.
In 2000 the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) was formed to represent companies
who controlled about 75% of Canada’s tenured lands. FPAC was a transformed Pulp and Paper
Association, expanded to include solid wood producers, and intended to more effectively
represent the industry. FPAC sought to remake the forest products industry with an innovative,
more socially conscious image by initiating a series of efforts including climate change
mitigation, building relationships with First Nations, and pursuit of comprehensive forest
certification. With FPAC’s guidance, the forest industry spent the following decade changing
perceptions both internally and externally – positioning itself as a sustainable industry of the
future. In one key leadership initiative, the pulp and paper sector pledged to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions (GHG), and by 2008, 55% of their energy used came from bioenergy.28 In 2007,
FPAC announced a goal of industry-wide carbon neutrality by 2015 without purchasing carbon
offset credits29, becoming Canada’s first industry, and the only industry association in North
America, to take such leadership. In partnership with WWF-Canada, FPAC committed to extend
this across the value chain of forest products and into other sectors. At the time of this
announcement, FPAC had already reduced GHG emissions by 44% from 1990 levels.
FPAC also required that all members must be certified by a third party standard. In 2000, only a
very small area of Canada’s forests was certified, but within ten years the area reached almost
150 million hectares (42%30), certified by one or more popular standards (Canadian Standards
Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or Forest Stewardship Council) giving Canada the
largest area of certified forest in the world. Supported by Canada’s strong laws, and the absence
of illegal logging that plagues many developing county exporters, these initiatives were intended
to position the Canadian Forest sector as a greener choice in world markets. These FPAC
initiatives created readiness among member companies to take more risks and engage with
environmental organizations over the Boreal Forest. More about the specific companies operating
in the Boreal is included in the section on the industry caucus. In addition to the leadership that
FPAC, ENGOs and member companies took on climate change collaborations, different
combinations of eventual CBFA signatories had built prior working relationships across Canada
through participation in several initiatives.
Precursors to the CBFA: Preparing the Ground through Collaboration
Six precursors to the CBFA were identified as important sites of collaboration and relationship
development between forest companies and ENGOs: the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework,
the Forest Stewardship Council, the National Recovery Strategy for Caribou, and three other
multi-stakeholder land use planning processes across Canada - BC’s Great Bear Rainforest
Agreements, Nova Scotia’s Colin Steward Forest Forum, and Ontario’s Lands for Life process.
Representatives from both ENGOs and industry felt these initiatives provided relevant learning,
models of collaborative planning, and important trust-based relationships that influenced their
belief in what might be possible to achieve by entering a Boreal process together. As one ENGO
representative put it, “the path to a different possible future was well marked out.” Initiatives
most cited by interviewees are briefly described below.
The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework31 was developed over 2003-04 by 21 forest and
energy companies, ENGOs, First Nations, and progressive financial institutions. The Boreal
Framework advanced a vision for world leading ecosystem-based sustainable development
practices, an interconnected network of large protected areas in about 50% of the Boreal, and
sustainable communities and economies. In 2007, 1500 international scientists endorsed the
framework. The principles and relationships emerging from this Framework set an important
precedent, and six of the Framework participants eventually became signatories of the CBFA.
The development of FSC provided an opportunity for many ENGOs to collaborate with
companies such as Tembec, which was the first FSC-certified company in Canada. Founded in
2003 by Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund, FSC has been the certification system of choice
for environmental organizations32. The FSC Boreal Standard1 was developed in 2004 to meet
Boreal-specific social, aboriginal, economic and environmental criteria. Relationships formed
through FSC development carried into the CBFA negotiations. For example, Tembec shared
their experiences gained from a history of collaboration with Greenpeace, ForestEthics and other
ENGOs with other companies. In the period between 2007-08, three additional FPAC members
(Abitibi-Bowater, Kruger, and New Page) decided to pursue FSC certification, joining Alberta-
Pacific and Tembec.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s main focus for Boreal conservation was Woodland
Caribou recovery across Canada. They worked extensively in 2007-08 with FPAC and member
companies nationally, provincially and regionally as part of the National Recovery Strategy for
Caribou33. In 2007 FPAC and environmental organizations developed joint positions on the
Recovery Strategy, and worked together to lobby government for improvements. Dialogue that
began here evolved into a broader exploration about Boreal solutions and finally into a formal
negotiations process between ENGOs and the Forest Industry.
In British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest controversy led the coastal forest industry and
environmental organizations to enter into a joint solutions project34 to re-envision how forestry
would take place in the globally unique rainforest. Negotiations took place first between industry
and ENGOs, First Nations and provincial governments, as well as multi-sector tables, with final
Land Use Agreements announced in 2006. In 2007, the Government of Canada announced a $30
million contribution to advance the Agreement’s implementation35. Land use planning processes
in the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) were another of example multi-lateral negotiation, initially
without government participation, leading to a creative solution. Great Bear Rainforest
signatories who subsequently participated in the CBFA included Greenpeace, ForestEthics,
Canfor, and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. More than any other model, the Great Bear Rainforest
process has been described as influential by CBFA signatories – acting both as both a cautionary
and positive example. The GBR Agreement involved more diverse participants, and the central
negotiating role of First Nations in a direct government-to-government capacity in negotiations
with the Province of British Columbia. The outcome of the GBR agreement enabled First
Nations-led conservation and significant community development. In marked contrast, no First
Nations formally participated in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
On the other side of Canada, in Nova Scotia, the Colin Stewart Forest Forum36 (CSFF) was
concluded and publicly announced in the midst of CBFA negotiations. Initiated by ENGOs
including CPAWS and the province’s four largest forestry companies (including FPAC members
New Page and Stora Enso), it aimed to plan protected areas, resolve conflict over wilderness, and
advance recommendations to government, which included a $75 million dollar commitment.
Representatives presented the accomplishments of the CSFF to representatives involved in the
Boreal negotiations, demonstrating again that such an Agreement was possible.
The CSFF, along with The Ontario Forest Accord/Lands for Life and the Great Bear Rainforest
Agreement were important examples of direct, fruitful negotiation between the forest companies
and ENGOs. Land use planning processes in BC and Ontario’s contentious areas initially
stumbled because resulting government plans recommended a continuation of the industrial and
policy status quo. The lessons from the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements, the CSFF and Lands
For Life indicated that direct stakeholder-to-stakeholder negotiations, in some cases without
direct involvement of government, could lead to significant gains and foster agreement in
otherwise unwieldy or gridlocked processes.
III. The Window of Opportunity
Many conditions combined to change the context for forestry activities in the Boreal, opening a
window of opportunity for ENGOs and forest companies to directly address their conflicts and
work to advance common interests. These conditions are summarized again here.
The Boreal forest was considered to be an important source of fibre supply to industry, and also
represented the greatest area of remaining wilderness in North America, with important
ecological and carbon storage roles. Increasing threats to Woodland Caribou from habitat loss
meant ENGOs focused public campaigns on the need for species recovery. The federal Species
at Risk Act required recovery plans, which increased uncertainty and potential costs to forest
companies. An historical lack of protection for Caribou in the southern boreal also created
interest among ENGOs to open up existing tenures and land designations to protect more habitat.
ENGOs and FPAC had been collaborating on the National Recovery Strategy for Caribou, which
led to early-stage explorations of a more comprehensive approach to Caribou and forest
management in the Boreal that might advance industry and ENGO interests.
During the same period, new provincial land-use planning targets were announced in several
provinces, adding uncertainty to forest companies, and increased the challenge of regulatory
fragmentation faced by industry. ENGOs had learned that comprehensive land-use planning was
probably insufficient to conserve forests, and had experienced that direct negotiations with
industry could advance significant conservation gains.
The export-dependent nature of the Canadian forest sector made it vulnerable to global influences,
including international markets campaigns. Amidst a decade of job losses and declining profits,
the US housing market collapse during the mid 2000s, and the financial crash of 2008-09, the
Canadian forest industry was struggling. Many in the forest industry identified a need to reinvent
the sector and pursue new opportunities. Marketplace uncertainty was exacerbated by ENGOs’
markets boreal campaigns between 2004-2009, which targeted specific companies and increased
the sense of risk to “Brand Canada” – raising the concern of possible financial impacts on all
companies with Canadian holdings. FPAC had worked to situate the Canadian industry as a
world leader in certification and climate change, which prepared many companies for deeper
engagement with ENGOs, and enabled them to entertain the idea of collaboration for mutual gain.
Climate change was gaining public and political prominence, and the Boreal forest provided an
opportunity context for ENGOs and the forest industry to respond. Existing organizational
relationships between the FPAC, forest companies and ENGOs provided a measure of trust, and
successful collaborative models across Canada showed a potential pathway forward.
Forest industry interest
ENGO interest
Boreal forest as fibre source
and important habitat
Boreal forest valued as
important fibre source, gain
certainty of access
Conserve Boreal forest and
habitat, advance
Jurisdictional fragmentation
and new legislation
Steamline regulations,
minimize costs, proactively
define land use and practices
to increase forest sector
Engage pan-Boreal process to
change previously designated
tenures, proactively define
land use and practices with
strong conservation measures
Extinction threats to
Caribou and federally
required recovery planning
Minimize costs of habitat
protection, proactively define
measures, gain environmental
Immediately stop logging in
critical Caribou habitat,
advance proactive
conservation measures
Climate change
Take industry leadership, gain
environmental credit
Encourage climate action,
proactively define acceptable
climate definitions for forests
Forest industry decline,
market challenges and
market campaigns
Minimize risk and uncertainty,
gain environmental credit,
advance Canadian Boreal
wood as green choice
Exacerbate market challenges
with campaigns, generate
leverage to negotiate
conservation wins
Table 1. Underlying Conditions and Sector Interests
Forest companies and the coalition of ENGOs chose to be proactive and attempt to engage the
regulatory system comprehensively across provincial jurisdictions. To do this required a
significant seizing of authority and a shift in perspective in order to create shared policy
proposals. Industry was interested in streamlining or minimizing impacts of new regulatory
requirements. ENGOs goals included changing land uses permitted on previously designated
lands, shifting forest practices and increasing Caribou habitat conservation. By working together,
ENGOs and industry could propose areas for protection and define ecologically acceptable forest
practices that met both parties’ interests. The Canadian forest sector needed a compelling vision
of a profitable future, and with FPAC’s leadership had cultivated the ability to take bold steps,
make new partners, and frame the industry as green. ENGOs had an opportunity to proactively
engage on climate change, and develop win-win solutions to protect Caribou and advance more
comprehensive conservation planning in the Boreal forest. Table 1 summarizes the conditions
and competing sector interests that made entering into negotiations an attractive option. These
conditions taken together created a disruption in the status quo, with threats, conflicts and
strategic opportunities facing each party.
Finally, based on interview data, and the actions of the parties involved, three main drivers of
change rise to prominence in explaining how the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement negotiations
were initiated. These are the threats of market campaigns against Canadian boreal wood, new
land-use planning policies and Caribou recovery planning requirements under SARA, and
FPAC’s leadership. Without the presence of each of these drivers or catalysts, it is unlikely that
an Agreement process would have been initiated.
The first driver of change was the deliberate and provocative initiatives by markets campaign
groups who targeted companies with forest products from the Boreal forest, specifically in
endangered Woodland Caribou habitat. These groups had a history of campaigning and then
engaging directly with industry to find solutions. Without the leverage of markets pressure as a
threat, and the promise of green credibility from collaboration, it is unlikely that the 21
companies would have seen the economic benefit of engaging in negotiations with ENGOs. The
increasing success of global forest certification (e.g. FSC) in providing a global regulatory
structure for industry to voluntarily undertake higher standards of forest management was a
critical adjunct to the markets-based approach. The second driver of change was legislation and
policy reform – new requirements under the federal Species At Risk Act, as well as provincial
endangered species legislation, and provincial land-use planning processes. As described above,
these changes necessitated a response from industry. The opportunity for industry to respond
proactively, in concert with environmental organizations, was felt to be valuable for creating
certainty and for mitigating the potential costs of compliance. These imminent legislative and
policy changes created a political opportunity for industry and ENGOs to take action. Thirdly,
without the innovation and leadership shown by FPAC in responding to changing circumstances
faced by the forest sector, a deal would have been unlikely. FPAC leadership initiated
conversations with ENGOs about a potential Boreal agreement, and had built relationships and
trust with companies and ENGOs, while also pursuing a socially and environmentally
progressive agenda in the years prior to the CBFA engagement. Together, the threat of ENGO
market campaigns, legislative changes, and FPAC’s leadership acted as reinforcing drivers of
change and created a window of opportunity for the parties to significantly transform their
relationship. FPAC, representing the majority of the Canadian forest sector, and leading
environmental organizations, began to seriously pursue the notion of a cross-sector engagement
process to address conflicts over the Boreal forest.
IV. Negotiating the World’s Largest Forest Agreement: The Path
from Conflict to Collaboration
The Art of the Possible
As early as 2007, the seeds of a more proactive engagement were emerging. As conflict
escalated in 2007-08 between ENGOs and several forest companies logging in the Boreal, the
CEO of FPAC, Avrim Lazar, made overtures to funders and ENGOs about a possible Boreal-
wide engagement. Avrim Lazar and Aran O’Carroll from CPAWS discussed expanding existing
collaboration on the federal Recovery Strategy for Boreal Caribou to address broader Boreal
issues, striking an early negotiating team. By the fall of 2007, the FPAC board had authorized
the development of a “coordinated proactive Boreal engagement strategy to engage ENGOs,
activists, governments and other stakeholders.” For the next several months, more ENGOs and
funders were approached, and the idea of a shared FPAC-ENGO approach grew.
Early phase discussions took the form of confidential lunches, and slowly the circle was
broadened. Environmental funders Tim Gray and Bruce Lourie from the Ivey Foundation and
Steve Kallick from Pew Environment Group were early proponents. Tzeporah Berman from
ForestEthics was also part of early discussions. Company CEOs comprising the FPAC board
also endorsed the idea of negotiations. Key company representatives were brought in, and
discussions gained momentum. At the same time, Greenpeace was engaged in closed-door
discussions with Abbitibi-Bowater as a result of their campaign against the company – a conflict
which “brought things to a head,” according to one FPAC representative.
Prior to taking the leap of faith into a formal negotiations process, the industry and ENGO groups
needed time to air their fears and discuss the implications of both failure and success. Of primary
consideration was whether there was enough common ground and potential benefit to each party
to commit to negotiations. The timing of engagement was important to companies, who sought to
create certainty in their wood supply, and prevent markets campaigns from gaining more
momentum. Preparatory discussions within FPAC included a round of 10 Reasons Why Not to
Pursue Negotiations, and other risk assessment activities, including a conditions analysis of the
potential negotiations process, and exposure to the Great Bear Rainforest agreement model.
FPAC members engaged Dan Johnston for these discussions, an experienced mediator and
facilitator with prior relationships on both sides.
Some industry representatives had to quell their reservations that environmentalists could come
to the table with constructive input, and cynicism abounded on both sides. A key consideration
for the forest industry caucus was whether ENGOs had the capacity to fulfill any agreements that
might result. Trust established from proven follow-through in previous collaborations helped to
provide assurances that environmental organizations were capable of good faith negotiations and
meeting agreed-to obligations. The presence of foundations also crystallized the company value
propositions for participation – assuring industry that the money spent on campaigns would be
redirected towards advancing an Agreement.
ENGOs also weighed the pros and cons of entering negotiations, evaluating whether industry was
open to the large-scale changes they sought, and if they had generated enough leverage through
their campaigns to impel this change. Some ENGOS had experience with a common corporate
delay tactic for dealing with civil society organizations, which was to offer access and enter into a
time-consuming process, without it yielding significant outcomes. The commitment of senior
FPAC and company leaders convinced ENGOs that the possibility for significant change was
real. Before embarking on negotiations, both parties had to find staff capacity and allocate the
necessary funds to engage in negotiations.
After internal sector conversations and exploratory discussion through 2007, senior leaders from
environmental organizations, funders, FPAC, and forest companies met intensively in the spring
of 2008. FPAC’s governing board of company CEOs had provided a clear mandate to enter a
process, and created a “Boreal Engagement Steering Group” consisting of CEOs from Tembec,
Abitibi-Bowater and WestFraser. A series of meetings took place between April and June 2008,
culminating in FPAC and their 21 member companies, seven ENGOs, and two environmental
foundations entering negotiations toward a Boreal forest “covenant”. This was formalized in a
meeting in Wakefield, Quebec, on June 16, 200837. Dan Johnston was officially engaged to
facilitate. Initial meetings captured participant’s high-level aspirations, and identified the process
and structural supports required. Entering into negotiations, the caucuses of the forest industry
and ENGOs had a unique set of organizational dynamics and varying degrees of internal
coherence around goals. Caucus composition, goals and interests are described in more detail
Industry Caucus: Dynamics, Goals and Interests
FPAC Members seek a package of competitiveness measures and marketplace solutions from
ENGOs that positions them for future success within the context of a global marketplace. - From
the text of the CBFA38:
The forest industry caucus consisted of the 21 member companies of FPAC, plus FPAC staff, and
was led in negotiations by the CEO of FPAC, Avrim Lazar. FPAC was governed by a board of
company CEOs, who consulted closely with FPAC staff and leadership on negotiations, and who
assigned either Vice Presidents or Senior Managers to represent their company in negotiations.
These senior industry leaders brought negotiations experience, prior relationships with ENGOs,
and other forms of government and stakeholder relations to the negotiation process. FPAC
leadership and staff played a major facilitative role in coordinating the caucus and negotiation
activities, as well as representing the interests of its members in negotiation.
One way to characterize the Industry caucus was as “a community of competitors”. Caucus
members were representing their company’s and sector’s best interests, seeking to maintain
profitability, shareholder value, and the economic and social contribution of the forest industry in
Canada in the face of legislative uncertainty and economic threats. FPAC member companies felt
different pressures depending on their products, key markets and brands. Negotiations with
ENGOs offered an opportunity to proactively respond to new Caribou and protection legislation,
and to transform ENGOs from enemies into allies when approaching both governments and
actors in the international marketplace. The Agreement area substantively affected the tenure and
operations of roughly half of FPAC companies. These were Abitibi Bowater (now Resolute),
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Canfor Corporation, Kruger Inc., Louisiana-Pacific Canada
Ltd., Tembec, Tolko Industries Ltd., West Fraser Timber Co., and Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd.
FPAC secured internal agreement that regardless of tenure holdings, all FPAC members would
support or reject an eventual deal.
Industry’s Goals
The following were articulated as goals and benefits of participating in the CBFA process during
interviews with industry representatives. The ‘Primary Goals’ are those most emphasized or
having the most consensus – where five or more interviewees from a sector articulated the goal.
The additional benefits were identified less frequently, but cited as important by some
Five primary goals of the forest sector were to:
1. Maintain company profitability and shareholder value;
2. Gain positive branding and competitive advantage by ending negative campaigns against
FPAC companies, and gaining ENGO endorsement of eco-advantages of Canadian Boreal
products in the marketplace;
3. Create greater certainty of land use and access to fibre;
4. Respond comprehensively to legislative change and jurisdictional fragmentation across
Canada, by harmonizing planning and operations across tenures and developing a
comprehensive approach with ENGOs as partners; and
5. Prevent a monopoly of certification systems and protect individual company investment
in their chosen certification body.
Additional benefits perceived by company and FPAC representatives included: a) Increasing
control over decision-making by developing solutions that meet both party’s interest and then
lobbying governments jointly for their adoption; b) Gaining ENGO support for policy and
operational initiatives aimed at increasing forest sector productivity and profits; c)
Proactively addressing emerging issues such as biofuels and climate change; d) Building
partnerships with ENGOs and gaining environmental recognition for aspirational goals, as
Voices from the Forest Industry:
“I think we all felt that this was potentially a way to create certainty. And there is nothing more
important to operating a business than to have regulatory certainty or access to fibre certainty…”
“So it was around the branding, and as well, since all the lands that we’re talking about are public
lands managed by provinces, with woodland Caribou, where you have Environment Canada and
the Species at Risk Act, and individual provinces, in the case of Ontario the Endangered Species
Act, and they’re not quite on the same page.”
“There was a growing sense through 2007-08 that the campaigns were having an impact, having
a business impact that was material to the success of the companies that were targeted.”
“We were going to have to do stuff for caribou anyway, and could we work the Boreal Agreement
to work with the ENGOs to actually do real stuff on the ground, and get some sort of market credit
for it, not just a regulatory credit?”
“I saw and do see a significant amount of value in rebranding Canada and the Boreal forest as a
place where the industry is working proactively to address conservation issues.”
opposed to getting criticized for green actions that immediately become the new status quo
expectation; e) Avoiding growing oil sands controversy as campaigns grew in the region; f)
Moving together as one sector to mitigate individual risk; and g) Attracting and retaining
employees by situating the forest sector as a sustainable and desirable career choice.
ENGO Caucus: Dynamics, Goals and Interests
ENGOs seek solutions that conserve Canada’s Boreal forests in a world threatened by climate
change and declining biodiversity.– From the text of the CBFA39
The coalition of nine environmental organizations and funders that entered into negotiations with
FPAC and its member companies had overlapping ecological goals, but often very diverse
structures, strategies and tactics for accomplishing them. ENGO caucus representatives were
senior level campaigners or program directors, with experience in land use planning, corporate
and government negotiations, and advocacy. Unlike the industry caucus, the ENGOs did not
have an umbrella organization with coordinating role similar to FPAC’s. As a result, the ENGO
caucus hired an internal facilitator, Lorne Johnson, to work in this capacity.
The ENGO caucus could be characterized as a “community of passionate advocates”, who felt
the urgency of their work and were motivated by desire to advance social and ecological good.
The presence of the funders, science and advocacy groups, and market campaigning groups
brought strategic and tactical diversity to the caucus. These organizations had different missions,
governance structures and communications needs, and were answerable to different
constituencies. Markets groups in particular brought ambitious goals to the table, based on their
previous successes and the sense of power conferred by the financial leverage from markets
campaigns. The ENGO caucus had to invest significant time to clarify their negotiating goals and
agree on priorities and process due to the degree of caucus diversity, the intense values-based
investment in outcome, and the identity shift that some had to undergo to embrace the ethical
complexities of negotiating with industry.
“Broadly our goal was permanent protection of at minimum 50 percent of the remaining Boreal forest
“I really believe that if we’re going to do anything meaningful on a really hard species, like caribou
for example, something like this agreement is the only thing that will even ever touch it.”
biologists more importantly, the caribou cannot survive over the long term if most of their woodland
caribou habitat is logged and developed and roads are built into their wilderness strongholds. But,
that is in fact what the current course of action is in all these different provinces, because the
ENGOs’ Goals
The following goals and benefits of participating in the CBFA were articulated during interviews
with ENGO representatives. The ‘Primary Goals’ are those most emphasized or having the most
consensus – where five or more interviewees from a sector articulated the goal. The additional
benefits were identified less frequently, but cited as important by some respondents.
Four primary goals of the ENGO Caucus were to:
1. Establish long-term protection of biodiversity and ecological integrity of the Boreal
Forest, including an explicit goal to protect at least 50% of the Boreal forest.
2. Protect remaining intact Caribou habitat to ensure long term survival and thriving of
Canada’s herds by:
a. Immediately stopping logging in threatened habitat through harvest deferrals
b. Engaging in Caribou recovery planning across jurisdictions with the best available
c. Opening up existing tenures and removing critical habitat from allocated land
3. Transform the conditions under which the entire forest sector operates in the Boreal
forest, through long-term collaboration and the application of the best scientific
knowledge and ecosystem-based planning.
4. Ensure ecologically sustainable logging practices, by advancing FSC certification across
the Boreal forest tenures of FPAC companies.
Additional benefits perceived by ENGO representatives included: a) Responding to climate
change through preventing Boreal forest loss, establishing FPAC as a climate ally, and gaining a
comprehensive conservation approach on forests so ENGOs could redirect scarce resources and
shift capacity towards climate change; b) Increased market demand for ecologically responsible
forest products; c) Pre-empting conflict with industry and identifying common ground on
emerging issues of biomass, biofuels and climate change; and d) Engaging local communities and
First Nations in regional planning through the implementation process.
Both caucuses brought their diverse goals into the CBFA negotiations, seeking to advance their
interests and find mutual benefit. The following section provides details of the negotiations
process, and highlights important elements and lessons learned. Negotiations can loosely be
divided into several phases, described below. Appendix A also contains a more detailed CBFA
Timeline. Two “negotiations snapshots” provide more detail about the most difficult issues the
parties faced – defining logging deferral areas in caribou habitat and campaign suspensions, and
coming to agreement on forest certification and marketplace communications. Key elements in
the negotiations included establishing common vision, investing in trust and relationships,
learning to negotiate from interests, having effective structure and process supports, and the
leadership roles played by key individuals and organizations.
Phases of the CBFA Negotiations
Negotiations were roughly organized into three phases after the initial preparations: phase one,
which began with formal negotiations and ended with agreement on deferrals and markets
campaign suspension; phase two, where the bulk of the six Agreement goals were developed; and
phase three, where refinements, buy-in, milestone development, and final sign-off occurred. The
sections below describe important capacities, leadership qualities, and processes that led to the
Phase and Activities
2007-June 2008
Preparatory phase: informal meetings, internal alignment among
parties, risk assessment, intensive scoping meetings leading to
formal engagement
June 2008 – March
Phase one: Formal negotiations begin, common vision established,
principles and interests identified, building trust and relationships,
agreeing to independent science, agreement reached on logging area
deferrals and suspension of international markets campaigns.
April 2009 – Dec. 2009
Phase two: Development of 6 goals, draft document
Dec. 2009 – May 2010
Phase three: Refinements to goals, ensuring constituency sign-off,
high-level government meetings, intensive work on Goal 6
marketplace communications and development of additional MOU,
development of milestones, sign-off and announcement preparation.
May 2010 – May 2013
Agreed-upon implementation phase
Table 2. Phases of the CBFA Negotiations Process
Establishing A Common Vision
“What we did well in the Boreal negotiations is we immediately began quite kind of visionary
and high-reaching conversations about the Canada we wanted to live in—what we were trying to
achieve together, what we could agree on.” – ENGO representative
At the outset of negotiations, despite having agreed to enter a process together, the two parties
exhibited ongoing antagonism. Forest companies had active logging operations in the habitat of
endangered caribou herds, and environmental campaigns were focused on raising the public’s
concern about caribou, actively generating controversy around Canadian wood as with global
customers, and running grassroots and market campaigns against two of the major firms in the
negotiations process. Within this context, discussions began about what could be achieved.
The process began with development of a Terms of Reference to guide negotiations, and
identification of high-level elements of a possible agreement. Following this were visionary
discussions about the kind of Canada people wanted to live in, the possible achievements of an
agreement, and the value of protecting caribou. Many representatives described early meetings as
tense and conflict-filled. Both caucuses initially engaged in adversarial approaches, mistrusting
their counterparts and holding negative stereotypes. Because of their passionate beliefs,
environmental representatives resorted to righteousness and shaming when triggered. Industry
tended more to hide reactions and build up resistance and resentments. Internal caucusing
provided a space for people to air their true feelings as the negotiations progressed, and to get
beyond their emotional reactions toward more constructive engagement with each other’s
interests. Working towards a common vision and goals was critical for developing trust and
gaining this momentum, but it took time.
The practice of documenting common values of such as forest sector prosperity, sustainability
and caribou survival on paper was described as important by several people. During the early
stages of negotiation, members of both caucuses had to develop trusting relationships and
overcome stereotypes arising from the war of words between the two sides. Stereotypes
operating within the forest industry often characterized environmentalists as wanting to put
companies permanently out of business, having no grasp of economics, not caring about jobs, and
being irrational true believers incapable of good faith negotiations. ENGO stereotypes
characterized forest company executives as uncaring, unethical or cynically involved in
negotiations to improve shareholder value. One environmentalist noted that eventually through
discussions, industry came to believe that environmentalists were competent in understanding
economic issues, and truly did want to advance forest sector prosperity. Similarly,
environmentalists broke through some of their stereotypes when industry admitted that current
forest practices were harming caribou and they wanted to find another pathway forward. “With
time, you know, everybody learned how to behave like humans negotiating with humans,”
reflected one industry representative.
Meetings were structured to include informal and social time so as to develop trust and personal
relationships. Face-to-face meeting time was difficult to commit to given the busy schedules of
senior leaders and the cost associated with flying people from across Canada to meetings.
Despite the obstacles, negotiation representatives overwhelmingly reported that spending time
together was critical to success – in retreat-like settings for added benefit. When caucus
members invested time to get to know each other, people found common interests, shared stories
about their families, and enjoyed social time. Meetings were usually structured to include
socializing, and informal dinners were felt by many to provide a safe space for individuals to
debrief and think outside the box. Relationship-building was referred to by one interviewee as
“part of the strategy” because they increased the care people took in negotiating. Building trust
was aided by previously established personal and professional relationships between some FPAC
staff and ENGO caucus members. The growing fabric of trust helped people broach increasingly
difficult topics and honestly express their objections, interests and needs. Although honesty was
described as uncomfortable, when people were very clear with objections or identifying specific
issues, it illuminated areas that had to be solved to everyone’s satisfaction and helped map the
path forward. “Negotiations get constructive when you say, I disagree for these five reasons”,
observed on industry representative.
Maintaining a relationship through honesty required neither full agreement nor even full
disclosure. The behaviour of environmental groups during negotiations had the potential to be
inflammatory, because negative campaigns continued until the deferrals were negotiated, and
afterwards, ENGOs were still communicating their interests to the marketplace – particularly
their strong preference for FSC certified products and opposition to SFI. To build trust, both sides
committed to provide each other with advance notice of upcoming activities or marketplace
communications. One ENGO representative observed that although companies might not have
liked certain communications that ENGOs planned, when ENGOs provided notice and some
level of disclosure, companies found it easier to plan and prepare response. This commitment to
provide advance notice – the “no surprises” clause – was applied through the negotiations and
was enshrined in the Agreement as a mechanism to ensure communication between the
signatories while some ENGOs continue campaigning on issues such as certification or caribou.
For all the positive elements, negotiations in the early phase were tense and often frustrating,
with members of both caucuses ready to walk away from the negotiations at various points. In
keeping with the intention developed at the outset, the parties sought an “early cease-fire” to
address the more urgent underlying conditions of conflict – ongoing markets campaigns and
active logging in caribou range. Markets campaign groups, in particular, were unwilling to sit at
the table to discuss substantive issues that might provide mutual value until important caribou
habitat was defined and logging was suspended in key areas. The agreement to defer logging in
caribou habitat and suspend of market campaigns against FPAC companies took almost a year to
negotiate, given the time required for trust to develop, for diverse data sources to be collated, and
for the operational, strategic, and reputational issues to be considered deeply.
Internal angst in the industry caucus had to do with being able to trust ENGOs, whether they
really wanted a deal, given that campaigns proceeded in full force against specific companies and
SFI certification. Deferrals were described as the most challenging aspect to navigate internally
in the industry caucus. The forest industry also faced the challenge of high energy prices,
housing slumps, and the high Canadian dollar. One company representative noted, “That was a
very hard time sort of in 2008 because of you know the sort of the peak of the recession, lumber
prices were at a low. The willingness of the companies – in one way you’re not harvesting a lot,
so it was easy to give up stuff – but you were facing a very uncertain time, a lot of mills were
closing, so you didn’t want to add burden to that.” Furthermore, as one industry representative
commented, “Getting competing brands, competing companies to move forward just takes a little
bit of time.” While some industry representatives struggled to see negotiations as a business
opportunity, they were well-versed in the basics of negotiation. One company representative
reflected, “So we would come back to sort of key principles of negotiation in our industry caucus
sessions and say okay so what is it that we want, where are we going, are we meeting our goals?”
Groups in the ENGO caucus struggled with differences in their approach to risks and differing
expectations – science-policy advocacy groups were described as more risk averse, with markets
groups being more willing to take risks and having higher ambitions, due to the leverage that
marketplace pressure provided. When disagreements arose within the ENGO caucus, they were
sometimes made more complex by the presence of funders, fuelling fears around potential cuts to
funding due to disagreements in strategy, which one ENGO representative expressed as steps that
would “cut us off at the knees.” The difficulty with having foundations at the table was observed
by ENGO, industry and FPAC representatives, as well as the process facilitators interviewed,
sometimes in conjunction with reflections on the benefits of their participation. The role of
foundations was more positively viewed by members of the forest industry caucus, because of the
perception that they brought money, credibility and an economic orientation to the table.
The Grind: Finding Agreement Amidst Difference
The commitment to deferrals moved the negotiations into a new phase, where the other elements
of an Agreement could be developed. (See Negotiations Snapshot # 1 for more details on the
deferrals negotiation). The next phases involved negotiating the Six Goals of the Agreement and
creating a lengthy document to reflect the progress made. By December 2009, much of the
Agreement had been drafted, and the two caucuses worked on refining the goals and their
milestones, ensuring their constituencies were in support, meeting with provincial governments,
and working intensively to clarify the implications of Goal 6 and finally the formal agreement
and preparation for the announcement. The following areas formed the basis of the six goals
under the Agreement: 1) Sustainable forest practices (including certification); 2) Completion of a
network of Protected Areas; 3) Recovery of species at risk, especially Woodland Caribou; 4)
Greenhouse Gas Reductions; 5) Improving forest sector and community prosperity; 6)
Marketplace recognition of the CBFA to benefit FPAC members. This section describes in more
detail the process of negotiations that led to the Agreement outcomes, including the role of
interest-based negotiation, leadership, structural and process supports, and the role of key
Interest-Based Negotiation
“We kind of got away from having this be like a union negotiation and more into, “How do we
solve problems together?”” - Industry Representative
“The astonishing thing…is that the difference between hugely polarized, irreconcilable points of
view is often relatively narrow. Once you discount for all the parts of it that are fantasy and you
actually say, well on the ground, given the range of what’s possible, it’s amazing how what
seems like an absolutely impossible chasm turns out to be a negotiable difference.” FPAC
Outcomes in the form of the deferral agreement and the six goals of the Agreement were reached
through implicit and explicit use of interest-based negotiation. This approach differentiates
between positions and interests, where a position is a fixed assertion of a particular desired
outcome, and an interest is the underlying rationale and value held by each party. Articulating
interests can generate a wider possible spectrum of outcome than traditional negotiating, which
can be used to “expand the pie” that is being negotiated, and create win-win situations. Including
climate change (Goal 4) in the Agreement can be seen as the result of an interest-based approach,
where both parties shared common interests and identified ways to proactively communicate their
agreement on reducing industry greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and measuring carbon in
forests in ways that were perceived to be mutually beneficial. A further example of how interest-
based approaches can deliver outcomes is described in Negotiations Snapshot #2.
Engagement in interest-based negotiations required a significant learning curve and shift in
orientation among the representatives of each side. Representatives involved in the CBFA
overwhelmingly identified the interest-based approach a central to achieving successful outcomes
– allowing new thinking about old problems, and ultimately producing a much stronger
agreement. The basis of this was developing empathy and appreciation for each other’s concerns.
As one industry representative put it, “I think we came away having a better understanding of the
complexities of each other’s businesses.” Knowledge shared through the course of negotiations
included industry sharing the importance of key business concepts with ENGOs, such as return
on capital employed, earnings before interest, amortization and depreciation, and the scrutiny
senior executives are under from market metrics for assessing public companies.
Industry in turn learned more about the substantive conservation issues such as climate change
and species loss. Interest sharing during the early negotiations phase also included very
straightforward discussions about how ENGOs analyzed power and created leverage for change
with their campaigns, and foundation funding priorities and plans. This learning set the stage for
people to understand each other’s interests more deeply. One industry representative reflected on
how in order to represent interests instead of positions, it was also important that both sides felt
powerful, because having two strong adversaries generated more creativity, and each side had the
courage to relinquish a position in light of a deeper interest. Power and leverage were brought up
by many of those interviewed as an important context for the negotiations, which both helped
advance talks and created conflict. This speaks to a perceived balance of power that was
necessary for a solution that met both parties’ goals.
In what was described as a turning point by some, members of the environmental caucus
conducted an interest-mapping exercise where, to the best of their ability, they characterized
industry’s interests and described their own interests. A negotiations expert, who previously
provided negotiations training to about 20 ENGO staff members, facilitated the exercise. The
The first substantive issue tackled by the negotiating parties involved establishing areas of suspended
harvest in woodland Caribou habitat and a suspension of ENGO market campaigns. This was a
contentious issue, and took many months to resolve. Establishing the deferrals required new mapping
to overlay caribou range/habitat with all planned roads and logging, across the different company
tenure-holders and different jurisdictions. FPAC hired a data manager, who aggregated cut plans
submitted by companies, and very technical discussions ensued about deferral of harvest at the
management unit level.
As one ENGO representative described it, Once we got the maps on the table, the next massive issue
was justthe deferral issue can almost be broken up into how each party is going to save face. And
then there are physical, economic and job issues and wood supply issues. And those all needed to be
untangled in order to have a real conversation.”
ENGOs wanted logging deferrals for their immediate positive impact on caribou, but also in the hope
they would act as an incentive for industry to follow through on recovery planning, so deferred lands
could be released sooner. One industry representative observed, “When times are really bad, where
you want to log is close to the mill for obvious reasons. And so we of course wanted a little bit of
flexibility in terms of being able to adjust those deferral areas if we needed to and the environment
caucus felt, you know, this is our assurance. So that was the discussion of many discussions.”
Finally, the parties reached agreement. On April 1st, 2009, companies placed 28 million hectares of
caribou habitat in voluntary deferral, representing 98% of the boreal caribou range in FPAC member
tenures. The quid pro quo was that markets campaign groups agreed to suspend divestment and ‘do not
buy’ campaigns against FPAC companies. The logging deferrals and suspension of market campaigns
provided a necessary ceasefire from direct antagonisms, establishing agreements about acceptable
marketplace communication, and provisions for advanced notice of campaign activities to companies.
Coming to agreement on deferrals built a foundation of experience and trust that supported subsequent
progress around complex and contentious issues, such as forest certification.
resulting document was shared with the industry caucus. Interest-mapping provided a structured
opportunity for environmentalists to practice empathy and inhabit the perspectives of the forest
company executives involved in the negotiations.
Working on areas of agreement also built trust and provided a safer arena to explore interests.
Goal 4, on climate change, was an example of this:
“Specifically on climate change, the industry actually had a lot of common ground
with the ENGOs – being a renewable resource, and with mills going more and more
towards 100% utilization and being able to use their waste wood to generate
electricity and also sell back to the grid. We actually found that we had a lot of
common ground on climate change, so goal four in the CBFA was relatively easy.”
– Industry representative
Gradually members of both caucuses gained skill to articulate their deeper interests, and
empathize with the other party’s perspective. One industry representative shared how eventually
it became almost second nature to consider an issue from the perspective of all interests, which
led to a shift where people around the negotiating table began to speak on each other’s interests.
“That was the point at which we realized, I think, that we had broken through, where proposals
would be put on the table, and the first person to recognize the environmental shortcomings of
the proposal would be the industry person or vice versa, and that started to happen at the end of
the two year process.” Another representative characterized the situation by reflecting that a
stranger observing a particular problem-solving meeting would have been unable to tell who was
representing which side in the negotiation.
The structure of interest-based negotiation, and the reported increase in ability to empathize with
and inhabit each other’s perspective, were critical in reaching the Canadian Boreal Forest
Agreement. This interest-based approach was also necessary in order to weather the many
conflicts and disagreements that arose during the course of negotiations. As one person reflected,
“we fought over every line of the 70-page Agreement – we lost sight constantly of the big picture
in debate about detail”. While interest-based negotiation was among the most-cited elements
when research participants were asked about key ingredients for getting to a solution, respondents
also specified many necessary qualities of leadership that enabled the Agreement – a primary one
being the ability to keep people focused on the vision and opportunity as the group worked
through a highly demanding level of detail.
People made personal commitments to move things along and that’s the glue.” FPAC
The leadership that enabled a successful outcome was a combination of the role, charisma and
unique qualities of the caucus leads, combined with significant depth of leadership and skill in
both caucuses, who offered powerful situational leadership, taking turns to provide critical input,
reframing, vision, perspective and knowledge so the whole could move forward. The qualities of
leadership or that were most identified by interviewees are described below.
The original ENGO position was “FSC everywhere, every day”. The original industry position was
“go to hell”. We began to understand their reasons for wanting FSC and they began to understand
our reasons. – Industry representative
The Conflict: As the six goals of the Agreement were fleshed out, forest certification emerged as the most challenging
area in which to reach agreement. One company representative characterized the feeling of the conflict between Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) as a “battle to the death.” The issue was symbolic and
emotional, with each side dedicated to its position. ENGOs had invested in FSC certification for decades, and wanted
company commitments to FSC-certification as a condition of the Agreement. Communications to customers from markets
campaign groups all called for FSC-certified products, and ENGOs shared a belief that SFI and the Canadian Standards
Association (CSA) certification systems were, as one ENGO articulated, “certified industrial status quo”. FPAC
companies held various commitments to certification systems, with some like Tembec being fully FSC certified, and some,
such as West Fraser and Weyerhauser being strongly invested in SFI. As negotiations went on, divisions among the
ENGO caucus emerged regarding whether FSC was a deal-breaker. For many in industry, FSC was a non-starter, and they
were clear that they would not agree to the ENGOs’ demand for only FSC. Through much detailed discussion and
conflict, it seemed, however, that progress could be made if the focus shifted to describing forest practices. By parsing out
their individual interests, a path forward came into view.
Clarifying The Interests: Several members of the Industry caucus saw their interests in terms of SFI survival, and they
would not abandon this core interest. FSC has various regional standards, and was not considered by some companies to
be suited to multiple operating areas or volume-based tenures. Becoming FSC-certified also added costs to industry by
requiring high percentages (up to 20%) of their harvestable landbase be set aside for conservation purposes. SFI offered
important advantages to industry that FSC did not, including having tracking controls on purchased wood, important for
those companies who bought wood from other operators.
Environmentalists trusted in FSC as a strong certifying body, and markets groups were highly invested in the brand.
However, their more immediate interest was in changing forestry practices on the ground in the Boreal. Their concern was
how to avoid undermining FSC in the global marketplace if another approach for ensuring ecological practices was agreed
to, and how to monitor such new practices.
Both parties recognized that third-party verification was an important way for
customers to get an honest picture.
Industry negotiators were willing to talk about more demanding FSC practices and
design, but wanted there to be several credible certification bodies in the Boreal, rather than a monopoly.
expertise was sought to clarify the operational consequences of different certification standards.
The Resolution: Ultimately, to resolve the impasse around certification, ENGOs changed their position from insistence on
FSC. It became clear that agreement was possible if a unique approach to ensuring “on-the-ground sustainable standards
of forest practices” in the Boreal was developed - using FSC’s National Boreal Standard as a reference point (however not
including its socio-cultural aspects). The practices would also draw on elements from CSA and SFI best embodying an
ecosystem-based management approach, and further be guided by active adaptive management, and third-party
verification. They would involve more ecological requirements than each of the other certification systems alone
meaning even FSC-certified companies would increase stream buffers and retention levels, and change stand-level
silvicultural practices to meet world-leading practices’. One industry representative described the intention: “The
members will take that to the woods, be audited against that, in addition to maintaining their own certifications of their
choice. So that was quite an elaborate evolution.
Conflict was resolved in this impasse because individuals were willing to question the negotiating positions of their
caucuses, creating an opening to challenge assumptions and address the deeper interest at play. ENGOs had to relinquish
an interest in the FSC label as the only acceptable certification in the Boreal, but gained improvements in practices across
the landscape. One company representative shared that when the ENGO caucus had healthy debates on certification in
front of industry, it showed a lack of dogma and a depth of engagement that he felt was important for the deal to proceed.
Agreement on sustainable forest practices extended and added complexity to the final negotiations phase. To ensure that
the complexities of this Goal survived through implementation, a side agreement was created detailing these practices and
how ENGOs would support it in the marketplace (Goal 6). During the final sign-off period, this side agreement was
scrutinized by company CEOs, due to its importance in meeting their interests in the marketplace. Once certification was
addressed, the last elements of the Agreement were finalized, milestones were developed, and the parties prepared for the
Agreement to be made public.
Leadership from each caucus lead negotiator was critical in getting to agreement. The industry
caucus lead negotiator was Avrim Lazar, the president and CEO of FPAC, and the ENGO leader
was Tzeporah Berman, campaigns director with ForestEthics. Lead negotiators in each caucus
had respect of all parties, had negotiations experience, and built strong relationships with each
other. They had the ability to take issues aside and parse them out between them, as well as to
rally their caucus through articulating the vision of the possible, and putting up a big enough tent
to include the diversity within the caucuses. The ability to draw the group out of details towards a
compelling common purpose was displayed by many process participants, and was often cited as
a critical part of success. Amidst the challenge of adversarial stances and misunderstandings,
people who could bring different perspectives together into something bigger and transcend
individual reactions by were identified as necessary.
Situations of conflict were inevitable during negotiations. The presence of people with abilities
to work with conflict by noticing, naming and taking responsibility for their personal reactions
helped to maintain a larger perspective and also supported others who might be having reactions
to do the same. Caucus leaders actively worked with polarization and reactivity within their
caucuses by acknowledging difficult feelings and encouraging people to express their feelings
and move on, learning that naming such dynamics helps people move through them. It was
important that several people were consistently very honest when reacting to proposals and
perspectives exchanged during the negotiations. This honesty helped break through defences
across the table, and to move beyond false politeness, by directly calling things out that would
not work or were possibly even offensive. This also required the capacity to work with the
honest emotionality of such situations while remaining direct yet diplomatic.
Another particular quality that enabled positive outcomes from negotiations was the ability to
bridge. Bridging leadership actions took various forms, from bridging multiple perspectives
under a common umbrella, bridging from past to present to future vision, bridging across values
to find common ground, and bridging perceived differences in desired outcome by shifting to
very concrete, manageable and practical questions (for example, by using data to clarify the
actual impacts of deferrals on companies). This capacity of bridging involved holding a strong
vision of what was possible in a flexible, inclusive manner, allowing for a synthesis of diverse
positions. It also involved being able to anticipate potential difficulties during the
implementation phase and to ensure that what was written in the Agreement was realistic and had
The flexibility of representatives around the table to play different roles and bring a range of
skills to the table was considered highly valuable by many people interviewed. At different
times, key people in each caucus stepped forward to offer leadership by communicating
important stories or values, by inviting participants to look at a problem in a new way, and by
refusing to give up their interests while looking for a new way forward. People also contributed
technical and mapping skills, conservation biology and other scientific knowledge, and
operational forestry competence. The FPAC team was described as being very strong on details
necessary to move the process forward.
Another, more nebulous, aspect deemed important to negotiations could be called “presence”,
which was embodied in how people were able to listen to each other, be aware of their body
language and impact on others, and model this awareness to others. Presence was described as
a texture to how someone is in a room that allows openness and possibility,” that reassured
people and drew them to a solution. This quality of presence supported people to take risks, dig
deeper, think bigger, and let go of grievances in service to the potential of the whole. Another
respondent somewhat jokingly called this encouragement of group space “a star trekky mind-
meld” when referring to the caucus leaders’ ability to honour and include different perspectives
but advance a coherent picture that worked for everyone. This capacity also involved working
with negative emotional reactions as they surfaced in the group, which is connected to the ability
to engage constructively with conflict.
Finally, representatives in both caucuses emphasized the valuable role of leaders with seniority
and experience. Caucus members brought experience from working in other sectors, including
past careers in the public sector and academia, and previous experience in multi-sector policy
processes and union negotiations. Several ENGO leaders brought depth of experience with the
forest industry regarding operations and management, as well as scientific knowledge, which
showed industry caucus members that they understood the people impacts, union politics, and the
issues out on the land and in small communities.
Many interviewees observed that the Agreement as an important career legacy, especially for the
industry caucus members, who were 10-20 years older than most ENGO representatives. Within
roughly 18 months of the CBFA’s signing, several of the senior leaders from FPAC member
companies, as well as the CEO of FPAC, retired. These experienced leaders brought perspective,
maturity, and strong convictions about the value of collaboration. Being at the end of their
formal career may have made it easier for these leaders to venture into risky territory, and
experienced leaders were able to mobilize the respect others’ held for them bring more risk-
averse FPAC companies along.
Organizational Structure and Process Supports
Several important organizational structures and processes were put in place to support
negotiations. Each caucus had a lead negotiator and a caucus coordinator, who supported internal
processes and convening. A Management Team consisting of FPAC and ENGO representatives
and the facilitator moved the process forward by framing discussion and sequencing
conversations, coordinating meetings and agendas, and developing straw dogs for others to react
to. Initially negotiations were structured through multiple committees. A more senior group of
three representatives from each caucus met a several times to resolve issues or conflicts arising
out of these committees, and this group eventually became the main negotiating group – called
the ‘3-on-3’, then the ‘5-on-5’ as it expanded. Because there were 30 parties involved in the
negotiations, the 5-on-5 allowed streamlined teams to negotiate and then bring issues back to
their larger caucuses. The 5-on-5 model was described as very effective at resolving conflicts,
reporting out and getting feedback.
Maintaining the management team and hiring a facilitator involved costs to both sides. Other
costs in supporting the process included support for mapping, legal analysis, and financial and
logistical support for meetings, outreach to affected parties (government, First Nations, regional
ENGOs). FPAC also provided large amounts of staffing time and in-kind resources to aid the
process, and the participation of each company, ENGO and foundation represented high levels of
staff time and energy. Negotiations also necessitated the development of joint science and
mapping/technical analysis upon which to base decisions. When negotiations began, both parties
quickly agreed to base decisions on independent science. Working with data was time-consuming
and technical. As one FPAC representative commented, “But once we got data, and at the early
stage, it was more around things like, where were tenure boundaries? How much timber is
involved? If there is this sort of deferral proposal, what are the implications of that going to be?”
Critical to a successful negotiation, according to all parties, was the role of Dan Johnston, the
process facilitator. His role was to interpret interests, be very objective, and clarify the ground of
discussions in order to build trust and create relationships between the parties. One ENGO
representative described it this way:
So he would often come into the room where the ENGO caucus was meeting and
say, “So what did you hear at that meeting? Oh, that's really interesting. So what I
heard was…” because he hears things differently, because he doesn't sit in either
camp. You know, we hear through our own lenses. So that's incredibly useful to have
that, to know that he doesn't have an agenda except to find resolution. And so when
he's saying you're not listening, you're actually really not listening.”
The facilitator brought a strong reputation and a long history of such involvements. He had the
trust of both parties and was felt to be quick to recognize and address hot-button issues that arose
during the course of negotiations. Mr. Johnston drafted and redrafted Agreement language after
meetings and discussions. He then solicited both changes and a rationale for proposed changes
from caucus representatives. Several representatives noted that having to articulate why they
were advancing a particular position was a powerful reminder of the interest-based negotiation
The Role of Key Organizations
Beyond the role of individuals, certain organizations played critical roles in the negotiations, and
their presence was necessary to a final agreement. Organizations were influential because of
particular regional experience and for their unique institutional power or role.
Western Canadian companies Canfor and West Fraser played an important leadership role within
FPAC, bringing experience with markets campaigns and lessons from the Joint Solutions Process
in the Great Bear Rainforest. Their negotiators were senior vice-presidents, one of whom was
also representing his CEO at the FPAC board, regularly briefing the CEOs on the negotiations
progress and providing an important link to the activities of the 5-on-5 negotiating team.
The Forest Products Association of Canada played a pivotal institutional role in initiating
negotiations and they provided necessary staffing and resources to the industry caucus. FPAC’s
President and CEO, Avrim Lazar, made a profound contribution to the eventual Agreement
through his leadership. FPAC was described by many as providing an important umbrella so the
entire Canadian forest sector could move together, when individually such an Agreement was far
outside many company comfort zones. This presented a potential challenge in that individual
companies may not have been as invested in the process as was FPAC. One ENGO observed that
when difficult conversations happened, it was usually with FPAC staff, and not necessarily with
company representatives. However, on balance, the role of FPAC was a strong contributing
factor to the Agreement.
Pew Environment Group and Ivey Foundation also had a unique institutional role in the
negotiations, with their power as the main funders of the ENGO caucus. As mentioned above,
forest companies felt their presence added strength and credibility to the ENGO caucus, building
the case for collaboration. One challenge was that with funders directly involved in negotiations,
they inevitably wore two hats – as representatives in the caucus and as funders. This dual role
created tension at times, because organizations feared that internal disagreement within the
ENGO caucus on negotiating strategy could mean funding loss.
The final organization that had disproportionate importance in the CBFA negotiations was
Greenpeace – mainly because of their global brand and marketplace credibility. One company
representative stated, “The Greenpeace brand makes the agreement unassailable”. With
Greenpeace’s power and international reputation as radicals, their endorsement of the companies
within the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement provided the assurance global customers needed to
believe claims of “world-leading sustainable forest management”. (Note: on December 6th,
2012, Greenpeace withdrew from the CBFA, due to objections that Resolute Forest Products was
logging in Woodland Caribou habitat contained within agreed-upon deferral areas, and that
Agreement milestones were not being met – in particular for protected areas milestones and
caribou action plans. They later retracted their claim about Resolute, but remain outside the
process due to ongoing concerns about lack of implementation results. Since then, upon the
Agreement’s 3rd Anniversary on May 18, 2013, the remaining ENGO caucus ceased their
engagement with Resolute, while reiterating their commitment to the CBFA as a whole.)
Getting Closure: Signing the Agreement
The industry and ENGO caucuses underwent different internal processes to achieve closure on
the Agreement. Once outcomes were agreed upon for defining and ensuring “on-the-ground
sustainable standards of forest practices” in the Boreal, the Agreement was in its final stages.
The breakthrough on Certification was critical for both parties, providing ENGOs with
assurances around eco-system based logging, and companies the promise of positive marketplace
messaging. As the process approached completion, company CEOs and the FPAC board were
signaling their expectation of a positive outcome from their investment in the negotiations. Some
ENGOs had to take time to evaluate honestly what their alternatives were, in order to feel
confident that the expected outcomes from a Boreal Agreement would exceed potential results
from their campaigns. Foundations were also advocating for the deal to be finalized, and pressure
to finalize the Agreement was building in the winter of 2009-10.
Both caucuses needed time to ensure their constituencies could support the Agreement.
Clarification between parties was needed about expectations for engaging with government based
on a joint ENGO-Industry position, especially in the event that government did not agree to
implement the Agreement goals. One industry representative described it this way noted, “So
what happened in that circumstance – a lot of very genuine fear around that on the part of both
camps.” While ENGOs might have wanted to “demand” policy change from governments,
Industry preferred to approach advocacy with a more circumspect attitude, given the myriad
policy and lobbying issues they routinely engaged governments about. Both parties also
recognized that they were crafting future visions they did not have the authority to carry out, and
required the participation of others – most notably provincial governments and First Nations, as
well as many other stakeholders.
Other aspects important for facilitating closure were “sticking points”, leading to the creation of
sub-committees, which developed notes to inform implementation on specific issues. Milestones
and pilots were set up late in the process, and it was reported by several in the industry caucus
that agreement on the milestones required a significant stretch by members, especially in light of
feedback from operational foresters who expressed reservations about their scope. Pilots were
felt to have significant value to both parties in order to test the approach. In the end, the
Agreement had elements that both caucuses had some discomfort with, but people were able to
take a “leap of faith” based on the years of work and the perceived positive outcomes. On May
18, 2010 a joint press conference was held to announce the signing of the Canadian Boreal Forest
V. A Living Agreement
The Goals of the CBFA
I think it really is a fundamental departure to have it sector wide, to have it across all the
different provinces too. It’s a massive scale in every respect; institutionally it’s massive,
politically it’s massive, geographically it’s massive.” – ENGO representative.
The CBFA is a truce, a joint position on agreed-upon outcomes, and a workplan of ambitious
scope intended by its signatories to guide future collaboration. The Agreement accomplished two
key outcomes, and set the stage for many more. At its most basic level, environmental
organizations gained an immediate stop to logging in the FPAC companies 28 million hectares of
threatened Caribou habitat, and the industry got a commitment from ENGOs to shut down their
“Do Not Buy” markets campaigns and not start new ones. The written agreement was a
significant piece of work, containing almost 70 pages of principles, detailed definitions,
agreements, and implementation procedures. Signatories committed to use the best available
science and information in decision-making, and the precautionary approach, as well as to apply
active adaptive management during the implementation of new plans and practices. Decisions
were described as being intended to maximize social and economic prosperity and ecological
The six Agreement Goals mapped out a new working relationship with both parties, advancing
shared aspirations. Goals one, two and three address sustainable forest practices, completion of
protected areas and caribou recovery. Representatives collectively described these goals as the
more contentious and grueling to negotiate. Signatories worked hard to establish clear benefits to
both parties from each goal. Goal four on climate, and goal five on forest sector prosperity were
more aspirational, economic goals and were less difficult to craft. Goal six on marketplace
recognition by ENGOs was described as critical to industry, and in the words of one industry
negotiator, “We hung our hat on this – it was important to us to say that ENGOs would stand up
and support us in the marketplace.” This goal includes a side agreement containing detailed
description of how each party will conduct itself.
The Agreement states that goals are jointly supported outcomes that are viewed as a globally and
nationally significant precedent for boreal forest conservation and forest sector competitiveness.
These outcomes will result in a) Canada being recognized as a world leader in conservation and
protection of boreal biodiversity and b) forest products from FPAC Members being recognized as
a climate-friendly choice in the marketplace and the preferred global source of supply of
sustainable forest products.41 Implementation is advanced through the Canadian Boreal Forest
Agreement Secretariat, which coordinates regional working groups across the country and
advances national-level priorities such as protected areas planning and caribou recovery42.
Implementing The Agreement: A Joint Position and Workplan
“I think it’s unique in that some ways it’s an agreement or in many ways it’s an agreement to
come to an agreement and so we’ve committed to a relationship over time. You don’t just
announce it and then it’s over. So there’s an ongoing relationship and ongoing maintenance
around the CBFA.” - FPAC representative
“With 600 communities, and eight jurisdictions, and 1.4 billion acres, there’s not many silver
bullets out there, and I think that part of it unfortunately is just that these processes do take time.
And that’s the good news and the bad news.” - ENGO Representative
The scope and scale of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement was enormous, and the CBFA
Secretariat created ambitious timelines and milestones over a three-year period, to May 2013,
with the intention to continue beyond this point. The Agreement described extensive mutual
systems of accountability between the parties, through agreed-upon milestones connected to each
CBFA Goals:
1) Sustainable Forest Practices: World-leading Boreal “on-the-ground” sustainable forest
management practices based on the principle of ecosystem-based management, active adaptive
management, and third party verification;
2) Completion of Protected Areas: The completion of a network of protected areas that, taken as a
whole, represents the diversity of ecosystems within the Boreal region and serves as ecological
3) Recovery of Species at Risk: The recovery of species at risk within the Boreal forests including
species such as Woodland Caribou;
4) GHG Reductions: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the full life cycle from the forest to
end of product life;
5) Improving Prosperity: Improved prosperity of the Canadian forest sector and the communities
that depend on it; and
6) Marketplace Recognition: Recognition by the marketplace (e.g., customers, investors,
consumers) of the CBFA and its implementation in ways that demonstrably benefit FPAC
Members and their products from the Boreal.
goal, and commitment to independent assessment and reporting about the progress towards
mutual goals. During early stages of the Agreement, the parties intended to focus on 1)
developing jointly supported caribou action plans that are based on leading, independent science
and that provide input into relevant government processes; 2) producing ecosystem-based
management guidelines for integration into existing practices by participating companies; and 3)
reaching out to governments and communities to seek their involvement and support for the work
that is being undertaken.
The CBFA has faced several external and internal implementation challenges. Primary among
these has been the challenge of achieving their goals when they require engagement and action
from other parties – provincial and territorial governments and Aboriginal bodies. In addition,
the cost and scope of work has proven difficult to navigate internally within the CBFA
Secretariat and among its member organizations.
Many issues including climate change (and carbon markets), protection of species, protected
areas establishment, and cut volume allocations are beyond the direct control of the forest
industry and ENGOs. “We agreed to find solutions together to problems we can’t solve
together”, reflected one company representative. The role for CBFA signatories had been
understood as providing proof of concept by finding success, and then drawing others to their
solutions. The parties kept provincial governments, First Nations, and other ENGOs informed of
their progress and intentions while negotiations proceeded. Different provinces expressed
varying levels of enthusiasm, but provided enough indication that the CBFA would be welcomed
that it was deemed viable. Signatories intended the CBFA work to contribute to existing
government processes, and not to usurp government’s authority to make land use decisions,
establish resource management policies and advance conservation. An ENGO representative put
it this way, “I had an expectation that if we could talk in one voice—the logging industry and the
ENGO community—that we would be able to build support from government.” However, how
this is implemented differs by provincial jurisdiction, and depends on the timing of current
provincial planning initiatives, the role of other stakeholders, and many other variables.
Provincial implementation strategies have thus far been delivered through regional working
groups. Regional capacity-building has proven time-consuming, requiring knowledge and history
to be shared and trust built to advance the spirit and intent of the Agreement. Some of the
representatives interviewed commented that efforts to engage at a regional level while the
Agreement was being developed might have made a more robust Agreement, avoiding some
implementation challenges, and encouraging regional buy-in.
Neither community representatives nor Aboriginal, First Nations or Métis people were directly
involved in the CBFA negotiations, though some consultation and information-sharing occurred.
This was a deliberate choice on the part of the signatories, who felt that after their interests and
issues had been aligned, they could jointly engage with Aboriginal people. Canada has
constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights, and the Agreement states that the CBFA is
without prejudice to and in accordance within these. The Agreement also committed parties to
reach out to Aboriginal peoples and their governments at the regional level. Despite this, when
the public announcement of the Agreement was made, backlash and negative response came from
some Aboriginal leaders, who felt the CBFA did not respect their constitutional rights or their
interests on the land. In hindsight, many of the representatives interviewed articulated that they
wished this element of the Agreement had been handled differently, with more time and effort
made to engage Aboriginal communities throughout the process. However, uncertainty was
expressed about how this might have been accomplished given the large number of different
Aboriginal interests across Canada, and the lack of well-developed ways of coordinating around
forestry activities. Since the CBFA was signed, work had proceeded to engage Aboriginal
communities in the principles and approaches of the CBFA, and identify shared aspirations.
Agreement signatories have faced other internal difficulties in advancing the goals and
commitments of the CBFA. Work on pilot projects has taken more attention than was
anticipated, and ENGOs and industry spokespeople agree that milestones have not been met and
were unrealistic. The Secretariat and individual participating organizations have faced ongoing
management and funding challenges. Significant logistics and time investments were involved in
establishing regional planning processes across Canada in order to advance the goals and
milestones of the Agreement. At the same time, there was pressure on both sides to deliver results
and provide proof of concept to their respective constituencies. Due to these external and internal
implementation challenges, by the three-year anniversary, on May 18, 2013 the CBFA had not
delivered concrete regulatory results. Both Greenpeace and Canopy43 have left the Agreement,
citing concerns about failure to meet milestones and the lack of legal protection for any new areas
across the Boreal. The remaining signatories maintain their commitment to the CBFA.
Possibilities and Limitations of the Agreement
Despite ongoing implementation challenges, those who negotiated the Agreement take significant
pride in it. One ENGO representative reflected on the feeling of leap-frogging over much of the
potential ugly conflict over the Boreal, and satisfaction from bypassing years of wasted money on
fighting. Industry representatives articulated that they don’t have time for combativeness, and
that investing in collaboration yielded intelligent solutions that were better for companies and for
conservation, more durable and robust, and more broadly endorsed. The proactive development
of joint positions was felt by several of those interviewed to get around the Jobs vs. Environment
polarity, and improve the chances of Agreement positions being adopted, because with both
parties in support, the strength of an economic argument against the kind of policy directions
contained in the Agreement would be reduced. The shift from advocating to co-creating was felt
to be a more positive and meaningful way to work, and industry representatives believe this
approach would attract younger employees to the sector.
Signatories of the Agreement remain convinced of the necessity for cross-sector collaboration,
and of the importance of working at the scale of the whole Boreal. Constructively searching for
win-win solutions together felt both powerful and transformative for the parties involved.
Participation in this process has crystallized for many the value of collaborative policy
development, especially on public land. Many representatives commented how the development
of deep and technical working relationships among Steering Committee members and across
Canada in regional working groups has shifted sector perceptions of each other forever. The
CBFA has also generated valuable new knowledge products and processes. Adaptive
management experiments are taking place across the country, and results are being integrated
through new structures for sharing knowledge and learning. In essence, joint collaboration on
science and planning is building management systems that are more appropriate to the scale
required for effective management of the vast Boreal forest ecosystem. The CBFA has the
potential to act as an important model for the management of trans-boundary ecosystems
globally. At the same time, many questions and concerns remain.
As a model, the CBFA faces many questions that must be resolved before it can be considered a
success. First and foremost is the failure to meet agreed-upon milestones and institutionalize new
regulations or new protected areas. This lack of concrete policy progress has caused two of the
three ENGOs engaged in markets campaigns to abandon the CBFA. How these groups proceed in
relation to the Agreement, and whether this undermines the perceived benefits to industry of
participating warrants further attention and research. In May 2013, the ENGO caucus suspended
talks with Resolute Forest Products, citing concerns about Resolute’s commitment to protecting
Caribou.44 With two out of three marketplace groups having left the agreement, ENGO
signatories who remain in the CBFA may have little leverage to sustain forest company
commitments to visionary action. Simply being involved in the CBFA process has achieved the
positive branding results and cessation of negative attention that many industry leaders sought.
Concerns over a potential waning of company commitments to action are particularly important,
given the retirement of several industry leaders who were instrumental to the original agreement.
The institutionalization of the CBFA within the offices of the Forest Products Association of
Canada, rather than within a neutral body, could also increases the risk of CBFA capture by
industry interests. In the face of external obstacles to implementation, it is arguable the industry
caucus has much to gain from going slowly, and little impetus exists for transformative action on
the part of the forest companies not already internally motivated towards making change. These
will be important areas to track and assess as CBFA implementation continues.
In the broader context of Canadian sustainability initiatives, other potential limitations to the
Agreement exist. These include: a) the Agreement only deals with one sector, yet the Boreal
region faces many development pressures and threats, particularly from mining, oil and gas, and
infrastructure development. Example of this include Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire region, and
Alberta’s northern boreal, where mining and oil sector interests could undermine ecological
protection efforts originating from the forest sector; b) aspects of social sustainability, human
well-being, and intergenerational equity are absent from the Agreement. The Agreement only
addresses prosperity needs of the forest sector and those communities dependent on the forest
sector. There is no explicit recognition of the social value of forests beyond their ecological or
timber and pulp values, which ignores the importance of forestlands for non-extractive uses such
as hunting and gathering, water resources, tourism, or cultural and spiritual values. There is a
danger that social values may be compromised where concerns for Caribou conservation and cut
volume or industry profitability are made primary, and decision guidelines for making tradeoffs
are not explicit; c) the lack of inclusion of Aboriginal bodies with constitutional interests in much
of the Boreal forest process continues to be an obstacle to just implementation of the Agreement;
and d) as described above, the Agreement requires that provincial and territorial governments
implement policy elements they themselves did not negotiate. Such bi-lateral and privately
negotiated Agreements pose critical questions about the role of non-governmental stakeholders in
charting new policy directions, and the evolving role of such stakeholders in a democracy.
The Agreement signed in 2010 was a commitment to work together on shared issues of concern
and opportunities facing ENGOs and the Canadian forest industry. While it is too early to fully
evaluate the success of the Agreement’s implementation, there are still lessons to be learned in
how the two parties shifted from a stance of conflict to collaboration, how they defined such and
ambitious shared goals, and how they have responded to the challenges and opportunities
emerging from implementation activities over the years since the Agreement was signed.
Application to Elsewhere
“If you want to sell the model to other people and other places, it’s got to actually work, and I
think we’re very much in that testing phase.” - ENGO representative.
“Can you create alternative regulatory regimes, using nothing more than a social license and the
industry players? That’s what this is really about, and then can those alternative regulatory
regimes then change the actual regulatory regimes?” – ENGO representative
Because of the CBFAs’ scope and scale, and the mutual engagement of an entire industry sector
with a broad ENGO coalition around a complex issue, it may be of interest to those seeking
solutions to resource conflicts – in other resource sectors, other regions, and internationally.
CBFA signatories unanimously indicated their belief that such an Agreement can happen in other
sectors and regions. Despite significant questions remaining about whether the CBFA model
works, it has achieved some valuable outcomes. It has temporarily halted logging in critical
caribou habitat; set significant goals that, if implemented, would change the industry; shifted the
relationships and culture of engagement between the two parties; created new non-governmental
institutions, and begun innovative pilots/experiments in Caribou recovery across Canada.
Furthermore, other similar models in Canada have longer track records, and some have achieved
significant results through a similar approach. This section explores how the model might be
applied elsewhere, summarizing the general characteristics and context involved in such a
process, and identifying factors that may influence its success.
Box 3. Characteristics of the CBFA Process
This list of characteristics provides a generalized pathway for addressing complex problems. In
addition to this general pattern, the particulars of any situation will determine how such an
undertaking is approached. In the case of the CBFA, policy conditions, marketplace changes,
ENGO campaigns, climate change, and the threat to companies of marketplace sanctions all
combined to create a window of opportunity. This window was used as an opening by strong
leaders, who drew upon pre-existing relationships, and similar models from other regions of
Characteristics of the CBFA Solution Process:
1) Complex and problematic status quo (defined differently by different constituencies);
2) Actors who want to address the problem systemically and have power, resources, and knowledge to
do so;
3) Existence of a possible solution or innovative pathways;
4) Political, marketplace and industry opportunity structures creating institutional openings for
5) Willingness and ability of participants to develop new relationships, trust, and shared vision;
6) Development of solution and formal agreement through negotiations process;
7) Availability of, and capacity to expand, advanced skills in collaborative negotiation.
8) Ability and commitment to implement vision, including changes to regulation, law, and institutional
A key driver of this Agreement was international marketplace pressure, along with perceived
industry incentives to be gained through a successful outcome. The strength of this strategy
depends on the resource type (renewable or non-renewable) and the kind of markets for the
product. Wood products have direct consumer purchasing and a close or at least traceable
product supply chain interaction between the producers and the consumers, enabling greening
consumer values (and civil society organizations) to influence the industry. Many ores, oil and
gas have mediating businesses, making it difficult to trace chain of custody or have small
quantities (e.g. minerals/metals) in single products to boycott.
Interviews indicated a difference of opinion among CBFA signatories and those involved about
the necessity of conflict, boycotts and protest-oriented campaign tactics in getting to Agreement.
Many ENGOs are adamant that systemic change involving a significant shift in the status quo
requires high degrees of leverage – which market campaigns are designed to create. In the
absence of this kind of leverage, several campaigners remarked that it was naïve to believe that
industry transformation was possible. Marketplace pressure on Canadian companies was reduced
upon signing the CBFA, and this was identified by some ENGOs as a reason so little progress has
been made on implementation. However, another member of the Secretariat interviewed stated
that it would be ideal to skip over protracted conflicts and move directly to the development of
solutions. Despite differing views, for civil society organizations to achieve equal negotiating
status with large companies in a globalized industry, it is clearly necessary for a shift in power to
occur which presents both sides with a clear necessity and incentives to innovate. In the case of
the globalized forest industry, ENGOs pursued this shift in power through international
marketplace leverage strategies. This kind of strategy requires high levels of international
cooperation, and products whose story can be told in a compelling way by civil society
Another important factor is that such agreements, while they may originate between two
stakeholder groups, must ultimately gain legitimacy and enforceability by being institutionalized
in policy and official governance structures. While the CBFA also involves the creation of
voluntary market-based governance mechanisms to certify Boreal wood products, its success also
largely depends upon legislated land use designations and protected areas creation. In areas
without the rule of law and democratic governance structures, it could be both dangerous and
unlikely for a collaborative conflict resolution process to occur between NGOs and an entire
resource sector. Democratic states protect the rights of civil society actors to advocate forcefully
for or against public policy and resource development activities. As an example, transformation
of the Russian boreal forest sector would not work in the same way, because of fundamentally
different relationships between civil society, the state, and industry, and the risks involved in
challenging the state and favored industries.
For those seeking to apply lessons elsewhere in Canada, the country’s most contentious
environmental issue in the coming decades is likely to remain Alberta’s development of their oil
sands (or tar sands) and related export infrastructure. Industry leaders involved in the CBFA have
shared their experience with energy company executives and key members in the provincial and
federal government. However, the issue presents additional complexity because fossil fuels are
non-renewable. It may also be impossible to define a long-term form of sustainable extraction
and use that reduces carbon emissions to a level acceptable to climate advocates. The ENGO
movements involved in anti-tar sands campaigns emphasize adoption of renewable energy
sources, leaving reserves in the ground, and stopping pipeline expansion, rather than industry
transformation. Furthermore, highly profitable and powerful energy companies currently have
little incentive to enter into an equal partnership with ENGOs to discuss radical changes to their
industry, given that markets for oil and gas remain booming.
Regardless of where else the model might be applied or learned from, it is clear that sustainability
challenges of the 21st century require innovation, and this case provides illustration of one form
this may take. The increasing cost and complexity of governing in northern industrialized
countries suggest that more streamlined, stakeholder-directed processes for solving conflicts can
be an important way to find solutions to resource conflicts and fuel the transformation of
industries towards greater sustainability. Examples such as the CBFA that advance the linked
goals of ecological health and economic prosperity in new ways can serve as models for
increasing the scale and scope of innovation in resource sectors and beyond.
VI. Conclusion
The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is described as the largest conservation agreement in the
world. Leaders from the forest industry and environmental organizations who initiated this
process invested tremendous time and energy to find common interests, think big, and address
deep-seated conflicts with creativity. They were able to do this because of political opportunities,
marketplace changes, and the strategic actions of individuals and groups over time. This case
describes the underlying conditions that led up to the Agreement, characterizes the interests and
approach of both parties, and describes the negotiations process that enabled an Agreement of
vast scope and scale to emerge.
To summarize, the perceived ecological importance of Canada’s Boreal forest along with
increasing threats to woodland Caribou led environmentalists to campaign at home and
internationally to protect the region. Both industry and ENGOs wanted to address jurisdictional
fragmentation in the Boreal forest, though for differing reasons. Environmentalists wanted to re-
open existing land-use decisions in the southern Boreal and create ecosystem-level plans with
greater emphasis on conservation. Forest companies wanted to respond proactively to new and
different provincial-level regulations – both endangered species laws and land use planning
processes. An industry-wide and pan-boreal approach could advance these interests, while at the
same time securing companies’ social license in Canada in the face of domestic environmental
campaigns, and advancing climate leadership. These changing industry calculations took place
on a backdrop of a decade of job losses, upheaval and restructuring in the Canadian forest
industry, along with the faltering US economy, which put increased pressure in the industry to
innovate and redefine Canada’s global brand. The internationally-focused market campaigns of
ENGOs heightened a sense of industry risk, making a positive global branding opportunity more
attractive, and providing ENGOs with powerful economic leverage to enter into equal
negotiations with industry.
In short, there were new policies requiring industry action, market-place upheaval and conditions
that highlighted the need for innovation, campaigns targeting companies that created leverage and
risk to industry, and some enlightened leaders who were convinced that collaboration would yield
industry and ecological benefits. A potential pathway to solutions was visible, because models
existed to draw lessons from, and many of the actors involved shared history and prior
relationships. Using this window of opportunity also relied on increasing customer interest in
green forest products and domestic public concern for woodland Caribou. During negotiations,
the actors involved established common visions, invested in trust and relationships, and learned
to negotiate from interests. Effective structure and process supports helped sustain the process,
and throughout negotiations each party benefited from strong leadership roles played by both key
individuals and organizations.
The CBFA is a very large and complex undertaking, which is still in the process of bearing fruit.
The Canadian Boreal Forest Secretariat has undertaken important new forms of knowledge
generation, ongoing intensive cross-sector collaboration, and the widespread testing and
application of new forest practices. Signatories face both internal and external challenges to
implementation. The experience of industry and environmental leaders as they work through
both the successes and the challenges of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement hold important
and timely lessons for leaders from many sectors and regions seeking new ways to advance a
more sustainable society.
FSC Founded
! Clayoquot Summer: largest civil disobedience in Canadian History. 10,000 people protested
and over 900 were arrested to stop logging of rainforests in Clayoquot Sound, B.C.
! FSC Founded by members including Greenpeace International and WWF
! First markets campaign launched by Greenpeace targeting Canadian rainforest wood, target
Scott Paper, PacificBell
! Clayoquot Science Panel released: new forestry approach advances social, ecological,
economic principles guided by Traditional Ecological Knowledge of First Nations.
! 1997 - World Resources Institute release The Last Frontier Forests showing 22% of worlds
forests remained in large intact areas, Canada stewarded of ¼ of this, much in the Boreal
Boreal ENGO
campaigns begin
! Boreal Campaign begun (Pew Environment Group, other ENGOs)
! Ontario Forest Accord (Lands For Life) Announced
! Home Depot Announces new sourcing policies and commitment to protect endangered
forest regions
FPAC created
! Forest Products Association of Canada is founded
! First Great Bear Rainforest Land Use announcement
Boreal market
campaigns begin
! Boreal market campaigns begin among coalition of ENGOs
! Boreal Framework Agreement reached among multiple sectors including energy and forest
companies, First Nations, ENGOs and investment firms
! Species At Risk Act becomes law, 2005
! Great Bear Rainforest Land Use Planning put into legislation
about “Boreal
Covenant” or
! Marketplace campaigns ongoing, companies receive customer letters inquiring about forest
practices in Boreal
! Informal lunches, exploratory conversations begin to scope out possible negotiations
! 2007/8 Woodland Caribou National Recovery Strategy
! 1500 scientists support Canadian Boreal Framework’s view of conservation and sustainable
! FPAC Announces Climate Neutrality goal for 2015
formally begin
! Informal sub-discussions continue between FPAC, ENGO reps, Foundations
! Mediator engaged
! April 25, 2008 representatives of ENGO caucus meet to forge common agenda on Caribou,
framing for negotiations in prep for FPAC meeting
! April 28th First formal meeting between representatives from ENGOs and FPAC (with clear
board mandate from participant companies)
! June 16th Wakefield, Quebec. Start of official negotiations: Agreement reached to pursue
negotiations, between ENGOs and FPAC (with CEOs/participating companies). Discussed
possible negotiating structure, negotiating team, and process support structure. The group
agreed to meet again for the purpose of striking a negotiating committee(s) and identifying a
negotiating support team
! Sept 16, 2008 A first draft of the negotiating Terms of Reference are produced by the
Process Management Team
! Nov 2008 A series of regional ENGO meetings across Canada to discuss the developing
! Ongoing 5 on 5 process (groups meeting as caucuses, representatives of FPAC/companies
and ENGOs meeting regularly)
Progress on
! April 1, 2009 Logging Deferrals begin: Setting aside 98% of Boreal caribou range in
FPAC member tenures in order to support negotiations. (CBFA, Sch A, Goal 3, s.13, p. 27)
! Oct 20, 2009 A first joint draft red-lined “Canadian Boreal Conservation Agreement”
! Jan 30, 2009 (WWF Offices, Toronto) The ENGO Caucus of the negotiations meet to
discuss the “range of FPAC member interests” in the agreement later judged by many in
the ENGO Caucus as a transformation moment in the negotiations
! Regional ENGO outreach activities, tour (Summer 2009)
! Government Relations
! Aboriginal Outreach
! Legal analysis (FPAC)
! March 1-3 Both Caucuses meet in Toronto to advance “Agreement in Principal,” confirm
outreach strategies, and plan for announcement.
! April 21-22 Negotiations conclude: confirming public launch, developed messaging, legal
review of Agreement.
! (Side agreements, decision notes negotiated: certification, goals 2&3
! Final details: milestones developed, agreements over joint/individual comms)
! May 17th Official signing date of Agreement
! May 18th Public Announcement of CBFA
2010 -
! FPAC restructuring 19 members as of May 2013
! Greenpeace (Dec. 2012) and Canopy (April, 2013) withdraw from CBFA
1 [accessed October 20, 2012]
2 By late 2012, the Agreement area was approximately 76 million hectares due to new tenure
holders joining the CBFA, and others leaving.
3 CBFA Signatories: The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) members today include
Resolute Forest Products (formerly AbitibiBowater), Alberta-Pacific, AV Group, Canfor,
Cariboo Pulp and Paper, Conifex, DMI, Fortress, Howe Sound, Kruger Inc., Louisiana Pacific,
Mercer, Mill and Timber, Millar Western, Tembec, Tolko, West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser.
Environmental organizations: Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society/Wildlands League, David
Suzuki Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Ivey Foundation and
Pew Environment Group International Boreal Campaign, ForestEthics, Canopy (Note: on April
17, 2013 Canopy formally withdrew from the CBFA), Greenpeace (Note: on December 6th,
2012, Greenpeace formally withdrew from the CBFA).
4 A full list of interviewees is contained in Appendix B
5 Dirk Bryant, Daniel Nielsen, and Laura Tangley, The Last Frontier Forests: Ecosystems and
Economies on the Edge (World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C., 1997).
6 International Boreal Conservation Campaign website:
campaign/id/8589935770 (accessed October 10, 2012)
7 Canadian Forest Atlas online, Canadian Geographic:
8 Canadian Boreal Initiative
9 Lee, Peter G. Canada’s woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and
implications for their survival. Edmonton, Alberta: Global Forest Watch Canada International
Year of Sustainable Energy, Publication 1. Edmonton. 13 pp. Available at: (ISBN 978-0-9867907-9-9)
10 Environment Canada. 2008. Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for
Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal Population, in Canada. August 2008.
Ottawa: Environment Canada. 72 pp. plus 180 pp. Appendices.[accessed online February 25,
2012 at].
12 NRCAN 2011
13 FPAC, 2011 Carbon Neutral white paper
14 FAO report, 2011.
15 Benoit, 2008.
16 2010 industry stats (NRCAN, 2011): There are two versions of the numbers on direct jobs:
Stats Canada’s labour force survey (222,500) or Survey of Employment and Payrolls and Hours
info (190,658).
17 State of Canada’s Forests, 2008.
18 D. Watton and F. Dunn, 2003. The Ontario Forest Accord: A Landmark in Forest Policy
[accessed March 11, 2013]
19 State of Canada’s Forests, 2008,
20 Ratter, B. M., Philipp, K. H., & von Storch, H. (2012). Between hype and decline: recent
trends in public perception of climate change. Environmental Science & Policy, 18, 3-8.
21 Struck, Doug. "Ad Campaign Wins One for Trees", Washington Post, Thursday, December 7,
2006 [accessed October 17, 2012 at
22 Struck, Doug. "Ad Campaign Wins One for Trees", Washington Post, Thursday, December 7,
2006 [accessed October 17, 2012 at
26 Note: on April 17th, 2013 Canopy withdrew from the CBFA, and is no longer an Agreement
27 Note: on December 6th, 2012, Greenpeace withdrew from the CBFA, and is no longer an
Agreement signatory.
28 State of Canada’s Forests, 2008,
30 NRCAN: State of Canada’s Forests, 2011.
31 See for more information.
32 See for more information.
33 See for more
34 See for more
information on the Joint Solutions Project in the Great Bear Rainforest.
35 See
36 See for more information
37 Based on internal documentation provided by Aran O’Carroll, CBFAS.
38 May 18, 2010. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement [Accessed September 2011 at]
39 May 18, 2010. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement [Accessed September 2011 at]
41 May 18, 2010. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, pp. 6-7. [Accessed September 2011 at]
42 More information on the Secretariat and implementation structure can be found here
out-of-canadian-logging-pact/article11305701/ [accessed April 17, 2013].
... are saying that we have probably 20 years or less to get turned around and protect the lands, waters, and species we do have left in the boreal zone and around the world. It will have to take a global effort to make that change" (Kassi, 2019, p. 422). 65 For more detailed overviews and analyses see Burlando, 2012;Gardner et al., 2012;Kittmer, 2013;D. Riddell, 2014D. Riddell, , 2015 In 1999, the Province of Ontario, ENGOs, and forestry companies signed the Ontario Forest Accord, the culmination of a two-year provincial land-use planning process that influenced successive waves of planning initiatives that marginalized Indigenous Nations. ...
... The campaigns pressured the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) 68 into negotiations with ENGOs. In exchange for deferring logging in endangered caribou habitat, companies benefited from the green marketing advantage afforded by reputable certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council's National Boreal Standard, which emerged (along with a few others) through the boreal planning initiative(Riddell, 2014;Shaw, 2004).As conflict over forest management in Ontario's boreal region ramped up, the Province of Ontario and ENGOs mobilized their efforts, again in the absence of widespread Indigenous input. In 2009, the Province of Ontario established the Far North Planning Initiative, which institutionalized a 50/50 conservation-development split. ...
Full-text available
Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), a form of Indigenous-led conservation, are gaining momentum in Turtle Island/Canada. While advancing Indigenous and decolonial futurities through IPCAs, Indigenous Nations may encounter various obstacles originating from settler colonial practices, policies, and systems. I draw on political ecology, critical engagements with reconciliation, and insights from my qualitative research to investigate IPCAs as potential processes of reconciliation and thus potentially transformative interventions into mainstream conservation. Unlike state-led parks and protected areas, Indigenous Nations establish and have a primary role governing IPCAs, which center Indigenous priorities, laws, and knowledge. This contrasts with parks and protected areas that have displaced Indigenous Peoples, appropriated territories, and imposed Eurocentric values and governance systems. Crown governments and the conservation sector are increasingly mobilizing reconciliation discourse in the context of conservation, but it is unclear what is or could be reconciled through IPCAs. I conducted community-engaged research with the Tsilhqot’in-led Dasiqox Nexwagweẑʔan IPCA and Kitasoo Xai’xais Stewardship Authority located in Tsilhqot’in and Kitasoo Xai’xais territories respectively (British Columbia). My research approach is informed by critical methodologies including decolonizing, Indigenous, and feminist methods. Key findings include: 1) Insights from previous land use and conservation planning processes reveal the risk of Crown governments and the conservation sector potentially undermining Indigenous governance and IPCAs; 2) IPCAs could be pathways of reconciliation if Crown governments and the conservation sector dismantle the roadblocks arising from settler ontologies and institutions; and 3) In the face of multiple legal hurdles, cultivating decolonial legal pluralism and engaging in legislative reform is feasible, can support Indigenous jurisdiction and governance, and could contribute to reconciliation through IPCAs. This study contributes to emerging decolonial political ecology work in the Global North by bringing the concerns of decolonization and reconciliation into political ecologies of conservation in Turtle Island/North America.
Full-text available
Its been ten years since open data first broke onto the global stage. Over the past decade, thousands of programmes and projects around the world have worked to open data and use it to address a myriad of social and economic challenges. Meanwhile, issues related to data rights and privacy have moved to the centre of public and political discourse. As the open data movement enters a new phase in its evolution, shifting to target real-world problems and embed open data thinking into other existing or emerging communities of practice, big questions still remain. How will open data initiatives respond to new concerns about privacy, inclusion, and artificial intelligence? And what can we learn from the last decade in order to deliver impact where it is most needed? The State of Open Data brings together over 60 authors from around the world to address these questions and to take stock of the real progress made to date across sectors and around the world, uncovering the issues that will shape the future of open data in the years to come.
Full-text available
Several surveys around the world claim that the issue of climate change is of declining interest among the population. Hamburg, regularly experiencing storm surges and suffered a major flood in 1962, shows evidence of this tendency in yearly surveys undertaken from 2008 to 2011. Comparing detected trends in public awareness of climate change around the western world, this paper concludes that there is a decline in public concern about climate change in the last few years. A few surveys in the US reaching back to the 1990s indicate that this decline may be intermittent; data suggest that the long-term increase in scientific confidence and in media coverage is not transferred in a parallel long-term increase in public concern about climate change.
Between hype and decline: recent trends in public perception of climate change 21 Struck, DougAd Campaign Wins One for Trees at dyn/content/articleAd Campaign Wins One for Trees
  • B M Ratter
  • K H Philipp
  • H Storch
Ratter, B. M., Philipp, K. H., & von Storch, H. (2012). Between hype and decline: recent trends in public perception of climate change. Environmental Science & Policy, 18, 3-8. 21 Struck, Doug. "Ad Campaign Wins One for Trees", Washington Post, Thursday, December 7, 2006 [accessed October 17, 2012 at dyn/content/article/2006/12/06/AR2006120602090.html] 22 Struck, Doug. "Ad Campaign Wins One for Trees", Washington Post, Thursday, December 7, 2006 [accessed October 17, 2012 at dyn/content/article/2006/12/06/AR2006120602090.html] 23 24 25 26 Note: on April 17 th, 2013 Canopy withdrew from the CBFA, and is no longer an Agreement signatory. 27 Note: on December 6th, 2012, Greenpeace withdrew from the CBFA, and is no longer an Agreement signatory.
at]. 11 http
  • Ottawa
Ottawa: Environment Canada. 72 pp. plus 180 pp. Appendices.[accessed online February 25, 2012 at]. 11 12 NRCAN 2011 13 FPAC, 2011 Carbon Neutral white paper 14 FAO report, 2011. 15 Benoit, 2008.
Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal Population, in Canada
  • Environment Canada
Environment Canada. 2008. Scientific Review for the Identification of Critical Habitat for Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal Population, in Canada. August 2008. Ottawa: Environment Canada. 72 pp. plus 180 pp. Appendices.[accessed online February 25, 2012 at]. 8 Canadian Boreal Initiative http
  • Canadian Forest Atlas Online
  • Canadian Geographic
Canadian Forest Atlas online, Canadian Geographic: 8 Canadian Boreal Initiative 9
Canada's woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival Global Forest Watch Canada International Year of Sustainable Energy, Publication 1. Edmonton. 13 pp. Available at:
  • Peter G Lee
Lee, Peter G. Canada's woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival. Edmonton, Alberta: Global Forest Watch Canada International Year of Sustainable Energy, Publication 1. Edmonton. 13 pp. Available at: (ISBN 978-0-9867907-9-9)
Environmental organizations: Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society/Wildlands League, David Suzuki Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Ivey Foundation and Pew Environment Group International Boreal Campaign
  • Alberta-Pacific
  • Group
  • Cariboo Canfor
  • Pulp
  • Paper
  • Conifex
  • Dmi
  • Howe Fortress
  • Kruger Sound
  • Louisiana Inc
  • Pacific
  • Mercer
  • Mill
  • Millar Timber
  • Western
  • Tembec
  • West Tolko
  • Weyerhaeuser Fraser
Signatories: The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) members today include Resolute Forest Products (formerly AbitibiBowater), Alberta-Pacific, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp and Paper, Conifex, DMI, Fortress, Howe Sound, Kruger Inc., Louisiana Pacific, Mercer, Mill and Timber, Millar Western, Tembec, Tolko, West Fraser and Weyerhaeuser. Environmental organizations: Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society/Wildlands League, David Suzuki Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Ivey Foundation and Pew Environment Group International Boreal Campaign, ForestEthics, Canopy (Note: on April 17, 2013 Canopy formally withdrew from the CBFA), Greenpeace (Note: on December 6th, 2012, Greenpeace formally withdrew from the CBFA).
Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival
  • Peter G Lee
  • Canada's Woodland
  • Caribou
Lee, Peter G. Canada's woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival. Edmonton, Alberta: Global Forest Watch Canada International Year of Sustainable Energy, Publication 1. Edmonton. 13 pp. Available at: (ISBN 978-0-9867907-9-9)
Ottawa: Environment Canada. 72 pp. plus 180 pp. Appendices
  • Woodland Caribou
Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), Boreal Population, in Canada. August 2008. Ottawa: Environment Canada. 72 pp. plus 180 pp. Appendices.[accessed online February 25, 2012 at].