Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment
Fisherville, Ontario, Canada
Tel. 416 410-0432, Fax: 416 362-5231
Vol. 16, No. 8, December 7, 2011
Honoured Reader Edition

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In this issue our feature is an update on forests. Our next issue will either be on the topic of ecological cooking or will analyse the outcome of the Durban climate talks. As our editorial in this issue suggests, we're betting on the former but always open to being very surprised!
There is a fairly big connection between forests and climate change. One of Canada's showcase forest projects is the Boreal Forest Initiative but, as our lead forest article relates, all is not well in the Boreal Forest. Could environmental groups have become signatories to forest greenwash? Even the government is reporting changes, and a slight decline, in Canada's forests. Where have all the critics gone?

We review an excellent, informative, and somewhat amusing book about Canada's forestry movements. Though published in 2009 it is still available from the World's Biggest Book Store and some others in the same chain! We report on a new study which indicates that losses of sequestered carbon from forestry will not be offset until the newly planted trees reach 19 to 40 years of age. If correct, that means that sustainable forest management practices still have a 19 to 40 year window in which extra carbon is added to the atmosphere.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reported on the impacts of human activities on forests and the impact of forests on human activities. We summarize some of their findings, including a quite remarkable list of pollutants discharged to rivers. Where are those environmental critics when you need them? A Natural Resources Canada publication, 2011 State of Canada's Forests, provides more data, much of it not too encouraging. We provide a brief summary. We also seek to provide a definition of Old Growth Forest, but find that as complex as most other environmental issues.

GallonLetter's Editor participated in a fascinating discussion under the heading the Environment Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow to mark the 40th anniversary of Alternatives Journal. We present a summary from the sponsor and a link to an edited video of the proceedings. We welcome your feedback.

We publish a letter from a reader drawing attention to work on the languague of water and we provide a brief summary of the Ontario Environment Commissioner's most recent report. Local environmental groups can now raise funds with rainbarrels - not a bad idea - and we provide an update on one of our campaigns - the issue of asbestos. We learned a new twist to an old acronym and we remind you of our daily edition.

That's it for this issue. We hope you enjoy Gallon Environment Letter and find its content useful for seasonal conversations and in many other ways throughout the year.


Environmental news seems to have slowed down these last couple of weeks as the world focusses on the climate talks in Durban and the economic crisis in Europe. GallonLetter suggests that there is a greater connection between the two than many in the media might realize.

The Euro crisis, at least at a macro level, is about countries that have spent themselves into enormous deficits and bankers who have lent more than can be repaid for many generations. Our looming climate crisis is about countries that have burned up much of their energy resources at an unsustainable rate and about governments that refuse to stop, or even slow, the flood of waste gases that will be burdening our atmosphere for many generations.

The difference is that the Euro crisis can probably be fixed in a relatively short period of time, though many people and families may be badly hurt in the process. The climate crisis will take generations to fix and almost every human being will be badly hurt in the process. In fact, before the end of the century, the climate crisis will probably have caused a global economic crisis that causes far more harm to people and families than the Euro crisis could ever do.

It looks as though, by 2100 if not sooner, people will be looking back and remembering the legacy of those leaders of countries who might have acted to solve the challenge of climate change but who chose not to because of their unwavering commitment to fossil fuels. No one will remember the leaders who acted to solve the Euro crisis and who perhaps will achieve at least a temporary fix.

Happy Christmas and Compliments of the Season to All Our Readers

Colin Isaacs


On May 18, 2010, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement CFBA was signed by 9 environmental groups, 22 forest companies, and the Forest Products Association of Canada. The Agreement covers 76 million hectares of Boreal Forest from British Columbia to Newfoundland. It set an immediate moratorium on logging in 29 million hectares of forest, said to be virtually all of the critical habitat for the threatened boreal woodland caribou.

As well as protecting habitat, the agreement was intended to improve practices of FPAC companies in conservation to position Canadian forest products more strongly in global markets. As a result of the agreement Greenpeace, ForestEthics and Canopy suspended their "do not buy" and divestment campaigns against FPAC companies. The agreement also required environmental groups (or other signatories) to follow process if they see lack of compliance with the agreement rather than initiate other such campaigns. For the forest companies, a priority goal was to gain recognition by the marketplace (e.g., customers, investors, consumers) of the agreement and its implementation in ways that demonstrably benefit FPAC Members and their products from the boreal forest. The agreement had a three year timeframe for completing the conservation planning for the whole area.

The Goals

Commitments of the Signatories are to:
  • "Accelerate the completion of the protected spaces network for the Boreal Forest that represents the diversity of ecosystems within the Boreal region and serves to provide ecological benchmarks.
  • Develop and accelerate implementation of plans to protect species at risk in the Boreal Forest, with a priority focus on Boreal caribou.
  • Implement world-leading, on-the-ground sustainable forest management practices that best reflect the principles of ecosystem-based management in the Boreal Forest.
  • Take action on climate change as it relates to forest conservation and forest product life cycles.
  • Take action to improve the prosperity of the Canadian forest sector and the communities that depend on it.
  • Work to achieve recognition in the marketplace for the environmental performance of the participating companies."
Parties to the Agreement

Environmental organizations:
Greenpeace, Canadian Boreal Initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canopy (formerly Markets Initiative), the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, the Ivey Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Pew Environment Group’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign. The Hewlett Foundation’s support for boreal forest conservation has been critical to the collective efforts of these groups.
FPAC companies: AbitibiBowater, Alberta Pacific Forest Industries, AV Group, Canfor, Cariboo Pulp & Paper Company, Cascades Inc., DMI, F.F. Soucy, Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Kruger Inc., LP Canada, Mercer International, Mill & Timber Products Ltd, NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd, Paper Masson Ltee, SFK Pulp, Tembec Inc., Tolko Industries, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd, Weyerhauser Compnay Limited -all represented by the Forest Products Association of Canada.

Progress on Milestones

A KPMG assessment of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement released in October 2011 concluded that "Notwithstanding the progress that has been made, progress-to-date in relation to the milestone completion timeframes anticipated in the CBFA is lagging. There are 20 project management milestones set out in the CBFA that were targeted for completion within a year of signing the Agreement. As illustrated in Exhibit 2, our assessment shows that five of these milestones have been completed, work is in-progress on ten, work has not yet started on four
and for one an obstacle has been encountered."

The auditor Gordon Gunn used tables, graphics and colour to show which of the milestones for this period have been completed, which are underway and which have had nothing done. The most difficult to understand are the "under way" because it isn't easy to understand how far toward completion the actions are although there are descriptions. For example, often when the milestone is "in-progress", the gap is due to "Taking longer than anticipated." Because some of the milestones in the next assessment period depend on the foundation of earlier milestones in this assessment period, it is likely other milestones will not be met later. Some of the lags include species at risk recovery plans such as for Boreal Woodland Caribou.

The report evaluates progress only to the end of May 2011 so it doesn't discuss other milestones for which the dates have already passed. Among the comments are:
  • Most of the work done so far has been Goals 1 to 3 including engaging a Forest Practices Experts Panel which has expertise on boreal ecosystem management and forest practices auditing. Work has started on developing boreal sustainable forest management practices based on ecosystem management, adaptive management and third party verification. Because the agreement fosters science-based decision-making, Independent Science Advisory Teams have been formed with work outlines developed. Work is underway for the proposed network of protected areas and recovery of species at risk.
  • Goal 4 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions along the life cycle of forest products but while it is underway is in early stages.
  • Goal 6 has resulted in the formation of the Boreal Business Forum. Both of the Goal 6 milestones due in the first year of implementation have been completed.
Greenpeace Blog on Audit Release

Blogger Mélissa Filion posting on the Greenpeace Canada blog seemed to gloss over the "lagging" part of the auditor's report. She wrote that the independent audits are for informing forest product customers, primarily the Boreal Business Forum (originally called “Customer and Investor Update Group” in the agreement) including Rona, Kimberly-Clark and Office Depot as well as other interested stakeholders.

GallonLetter notes that some of the other environmental groups haven't alerted the public about the release of the audit report. For example, we searched the David Suzuki Foundation for the term KPMG and found a news release of the first anniversary issued May 18, 2011 but nothing about this assessment report.

Corporate Response to CBFA Audit

GallonLetter reviewed what the forest companies and FPAC were saying about this milestone report about a landmark agreement. Some of the companies seem to be missing in action. AbitibiBowater* has closed mills and gone through bankruptcy, now renamed Resolute Forest Products. If the companies that had been signatory to the agreement had press releases on the audit report, those press releases were not readily found by us. This would have been reasonable if the FPAC were the signatory on behalf of the companies but in this case the individual companies were signatories. Anyway, in GallonLetter's experience, industry associations don't really have or exercise much power over their members.

One could find information on the release of the audit report on The Forest Products Association of Canada's web site but only by following "Media Kit" on the boreal forest initiatives. This redirects to the Canada Boreal Forest website which says very little except providing a link to the report and "The CBFA signatories are prioritizing our work in response to the assessment." Although FPAC had quite a few news releases on Canada Newswire where press releases seem to be posted for the most press impact and in September a forum on the "inside story" of the landmark boreal forest initiative, none of its newswire releases since alert the press to the audit report. Recent news releases on Canada Newswire include: Forest Industry Applauds Government for Promoting Canadian Wood in Asia; Forest Industry Welcomes Facilitator as Step Forward in Addressing Rail Market Power; Forest Industry To Government: Deal With Debt, Foster Transformation; Forest industry on Jenkins Report: Focussed investments in innovation key to Canadian competitiveness; Forest Industry applauds government for forward-looking investments; Forest biomass • Helping fuel Canada's renewable energy future; Forest Sector Backs City of Ottawa Commitment on Green Construction.

GallonLetter is unable to determine whether this audit report indicates that the signatories bit off more than they can chew for the timeframe they set so things are less than perfect but will move along to successful implementation or if this audit report indicates that the agreement is landmark only because it was mostly a clever strategy on the part of the forest industry's association leadership to reduce the global and domestic pressure on sales of products the boreal old growth forest. However, at this stage the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is looking suspiciously like it is achieving silence in the environmental community more than it is achieving progress for sustainable management of Canada's forests.


*The Supreme Court of Canada heard and reserved decision on November 16, 2011 on a lower court decision appealled in the case of  Province of Newfoundland and Labrador vs AbitibiBowater, which was found to be not liable for pollution from its mills due to bankruptcy. The case is complicated by the fact that the province took possession of the mills but the main issue is whether Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act exempts the bankrupt company from legal orders under the province's Environmental Protection Act. The Superior Court dismissed the province's position that its order to remediate contaminated lands could not be considered a “claim” under the CCAA and the Court of Appeal denied leave to appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada receives over 400 leaves to appeal each year of which it hears only about 65 or so. The fact that the Supreme Court chose to hear this case is a recognition of its significance. If the court decides in favour of the company, then we would certainly support a change in the bankruptcy law because as Will Amos representing Friends of the Earth  said in his submission, "The environment is not a creditor." Otherwise the taxpayer pays the cost of pollution instead of the polluter paying. On the other hand, if the province wins, the federal government is just as likely to change the bankruptcy legislation to protect corporations so again the polluter doesn't pay.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


In his 2009 book, The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut, Vancouver-based journalist, humourist/satirist, performer-playwright and author, Mark Leiren-Young, interviewed 22 people involved in forests including environmentalists, union leaders and corporate executives. The book also includes the screen play Green Chain.

Leiren-Young won the Stephen Leacock for humour in 2009 for a memoir called Never Shoot a Stampede Queen. Whether or not the reader sees humour in The Green Chain book will depend on one's views of both the forests and the trees. GallonDaily enjoyed lots of bits of wit including the "professional" designations of the interviewees: Patrick Moore who wrote his own book on the benefits of clearcut and claims environmental credentials due to being a "founder of Greenpeace" gets the label "Eco-heretic." Despite the role some of the interviewees had in cutting and pulping the forests, each and every one responded to the question Leiren-Young asked about how they feel about trees: they all love trees.

Many of the interviewees continue to play a role in environment and forest issues:
  • Betty Krawczyk, who likes to call herself a "fanatic", became an activist in Clayoquot Sound after clearcutting released a landslide of mud into a cove near where she lived in an A-frame one of her sons built for her. She said, the "fish bearing streams were just being destroyed by the greed of the logging companies." So she tried to get action from various government agencies but there was no response. In 1993, she joined a group she had been giving money to, Friends of Clayoquot Sound. She was the oldest person (She turned 80 in 2008) , on the blockade against logging in the old growth forest, and was sent to jail. GallonLetter notes she has attended court cases recently for the Occupy movement and expresses doubts that courts will ever side with activists: companies seek and get injunctions routinely and once there is an injunction, protesters who refuse to go away are found guilty of contempt of court and go to jail no matter how much the companies despoil the environment and how just the cause in the public interest of the protesters.
  • Avrim Lazar, CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada, labelled as Company Man, in his interview said they saw coming a "demand for products that have the highest possible environmental credentials. So the idea is pretty simple - make as rapid progress as we can on our environmental performance and then market that progress as a market differentiation plan. " Lazar has been a vegetarian since the age of 16 and occasionally takes pot shots at the beef industry for their role in deforestation due to grazing and for soybean crop production for animal feed.
  • Kalle Lasn, labelled as Adbuster-in-Chief, filed a lawsuit when networks in Canada refused to air his claymation anti-forestry ad showing an ancient tree explaining to a sapling that "a tree farm is not a forest"  Lasn created the journal Adbusters calling itself a culturejammer which promotes "Buy Nothing Day". Although he won his forestry ad case in 2009, he finds it difficult to get his buy nothing ads aired. GallonLetter notes that on the 20th anniversary, the Buy Nothing campaign has been extended to reflect the Occupy movement to Occupy Xmas.
Here in one book is a range of opinion of experiences and views on what should be done in the future for Canada's forests. Mill worker, union leader, tree sprite, tree guru, beachcomber, tree planter, hot scientist, forest steward, old growth tree hugger, second generation activist and others all provide an insight into forest issues which would otherwise be difficult to convey on just 200 pages of paper. GallonLetter thinks we need more of this type of writing to cross the divide which seems to be growing between the "right" and "left".

"Hot scientist" Richard Hebda, who as curator at the Royal British Columbia Museum set up a "Climate Rules" exhibit, expressed what GallonLetter took away as a key message: "People have a legitimate need to use and be part of forest ecosystems. In some cases, very lightly so; in other cases, very intensely so." Humans need to look at forests as ecosystems and to take into account the effects of climate change and human impacts and disturbance. Ecologically based approaches may vary including preservation, restoration and "in other cases, replanting as fast as we can, but always honouring the forests as ecosystems and the processes and the species that are there and all of the values they provide, not only for us as humans but all the species that live here."

Leiren-Young is the co-author with Tzeporah Berman, Greenpeace International's co-head of the climate and energy campaign, of a book which is about her. This Crazy Time (Random House) was released in September 2011.

Leiren-Young, Mark. The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut. Surrey, British Columbia: Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd, 2009.
Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Forests in different geographic areas and with different tree species store carbon in different amounts. A report by Fluxnet on carbon in Canadian forests describes the effects of cutting down the forest. About 70% of the carbon is stored in the soil and the litter, the branches and other cuttings not taken out with the logs. As the litter rots, it releases carbon. Annual carbon emissions due to the trees no longer processing CO2 through photosynthesis results in annual emissions of 1.4 tonnes/hectare for boreal black spruce, 6.0 t/ha for Douglas fir and 1.9 t/ha for jack pine stands. The area continues to lose carbon until the uptake of carbon by the new growth is equal to the new trees' respiration rate which is about 10 years for black spruce and jack pine stands and 17 years for Douglas-fir. The losses from the time of cutting will not be offset until the trees reach 19 to 40 years of age. Carbon will then accumulate until the trees are cut again.

Cutting of the trees increases the flow of water draining into streams and ground water because the trees aren't "breathing." Other water-related impacts relate to snow accumulation and timing of snow melt, and streamflow within the watershed.

Roads and skid machinery can compact soil and increase water runoff and soil erosion. The changes in soil organic material and water flow change emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane. Overall, harvesting of forests increases global warming. However, removal of the canopy may lead to more snow cover reflecting light (and hence heat) which can neutralize global warming.
Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


The total forest area in Canada is 4.02 million km2, including forests and woodlands, according to the fourth report submitted by Canada to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Between 1990 and 2007 annual deforestation ranged from 482 km2 to 838 km2 which is less than 0.02% of the total forest area in Canada.

About half of the deforestation area is due to conversion to cropland, the other half includes building of roads for resource extraction, power lines, and oil and gas and other development. For example, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, urban development has impacted forests. The Garry oak ecosystem, one of Canada’s most endangered ecosystems, has been reduced by urban expansion in Greater Victoria. Between 1995 and 2006, a large portion of deforestation was due to building of hydro reservoirs. The annual area of forests newly planted increased from 69 to 110 km2 between 1990 and 2005.

Although annual loss of forest area isn't large compared to the total forest area, the forests are changing in composition more than expected. GallonLetter has read a complaint that the new 2 dollar coin (Toonie) and the ad celebrating 2011 as the Year of the Forest by depicting the boreal forest, show the wrong species. We don't know if that complaint is well-founded but maybe that is just a reflection of the changes as the report to the CBD says that the boreal forest of Ontario and northwest Quebec is converting to deciduous broad-leaved trees from conifers. In Atlantic Canada, the forests are shifting from late succession to early succession species. For example in Nova Scotia, clearcutting favours species which don't like shade such as poplar and white birch which have replaced mid- and late-successional forests of red spruce, yellow birch, sugar maple, and white pine. Unless subject to catastrophic events such as clearcutting, late succession forests tend to be more stable over a long period of time.

Forest Birds

While there have been gradual declines of birds in the forest over the last few years, the decline of 10% since the 1970s is the smallest of the five categories reported: forest, shrub, grassland, open and urban. Because forest habitat varies, different bird species have different trends. About 60% of the land-based birds in Canada breed in the boreal forest with many having a large portion of their world-wide population in Canada. Birds in shrub and early succession forests have declined about 17% since the 1970s with the decline varying widely throughout Canada.


Boreal woodland caribou are found only in Canada, listed as ‘threatened’ by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada COSEWIC. Of their total population (at the time of the report) of about 39,000, from the Northwest Territory to East Labrador and as far south as Lake Superior, 5% of the 57 local populations are increasing, 30% declining, 28% stable and 37% have unknown status. The major factors in their decline are loss, degradation or fragmentation of their habitat, mature conifer forests.


Fire is beneficial as a natural process especially as many boreal species depend on the ecological effects of fire such as reduction of insects and diseases, regeneration by seed, age structure and nutrient cycling. However, predictions are that climate change, fire suppression techniques and increased human settlement will increase the area burned by fire by 75% to 120% by 2100. Fires in the last 50 years have been larger: large fires account for only 3% of the number of fires but 97% of the area burned.
Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Forests are impacted by industrial activities and in turn forestry and pulp and paper activities have impacts of their own. As an example, a report by Fisheries and Oceans Canada about the region in Quebec which can be considered marine-connected, Lower Saint Lawrence, the North-Shore and the Gaspésie–Magdalen Island, explores the economic activities which impact on fisheries and the marine environment including forestry. The reason for the report is said to be because of the Ocean Act which requires "economic planning for the management of human activities, so that they do not enter into conflict with each other and so that all factors are considered for the conservation and sustainable use of maritime resources and the shared use of the ocean."

The businesses of large forest companies in the region generate other economic activities including reforestation businesses, silvicultural work, forest roads, carriers, engineering and equipment manufacturers. Most of the forests are on public land with contracts for developing the forest. Recently the high Canadian dollar, the duties charged by the US since 2001 and reduced wood supply from the forests has led to both permanent and temporary layoffs of over 2,300 workers in this region and shutdown of wood processing and pulp and paper mills. In 2007, about 126,700 workers were employed in all of Quebec in both direct and indirect employments in the forestry, wood transformation and pulp and paper sector with 17% (or 21,600 workers) of the Quebec's total forest employment being in the region discussed here. The decline in the US housing market is expected to affect demand for a long time but intensification of forest management is expected to increase the demand for workers.

An alternative economic activity has been harvesting of 4,500,000 kilograms of spruce branches and the manufacturing of Christmas wreaths (2003) for revenues of $10 million, 500 to 600 harvesting jobs for five to six weeks and 470 production jobs.

Pulp and Paper Pollution to Water

The pulp and paper mills have reduced their discharge of particulates and dissolved substances by 90% and 97% respectively from 1981 to 2006. However, contaminants diluted in large amounts of water (estimated to be 534.8 million cubic metres in 2006) are discharged to streams, the effluent containing
  • " Suspended matter, such as fibers, fine wooden particles, biological mud, ashes and additives (clay, calcium carbonate, etc.)
  • Organic matter, mostly dissolved, that creates a BOD resulting from wood or, in lesser amounts, from additives;
  • Inorganic compounds (metals and salts resulting from wood or additives);
  • Traces of PCBs, which one finds in the effluents of certain factories using recycled fibers (resulting from coloring agents and certain chemicals);
  • Hydrocarbons which result especially from loss of lubricants;
  • Phenolic compounds, fatty acids and resins resulting from wood;
  • Organic chloride compounds, such as dioxins and chlorinated furans, which one finds in the effluents of the factories using a chlorinated product for bleaching;
  • Nutrients, composed of nitrogen and phosphorus, that are added to the biological treatment to preserve bacterial activity;
  • Other substances, such as volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, polycyclics and the acetaldehyde aromatic hydrocarbons."
Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


The 2011 State of Canada's Forests uses various indicators and commentary with some emphasis on economics. Some of the statistics are:
  • 348 species related to forest are listed as at risk. Of 40 species assessed or reassessed by COSEWIC (the committee responsible for determining the scientific status of species at risk) in May 2011, 16 are forest related: 9 are newly at risk, six species reassessed had no change in their risk and 1 species reassessed was at a higher level of risk. Threats include recreation and tourism development, climate change, pollution and over-harvesting.
  • Harvesting even if clearcut is not accounted as deforestation if tree seedlings are planted eventually or the forest is expected to regenerate naturally. GallonLetter notes that we recently lost a shade tree with more than a metre diameter base. Although it is often claimed that Canada has sustainable forestry because two seedlings are planted for every one tree cut, tree seedlings only gain the volume of wood after many years. For example, it will likely be 50 -100 years before the value of our shade tree is again realized. Deforestation is counted only if the land is converted to agriculture, industrial or residential development, or resource extraction. Afforestation is new tree planting on previously non-forest land. In 2009 about 45,000 hectares were deforested. Very limited afforestation occurs in Canada.
  • replanting. There is typically a two year gap between tree cutting and planting of tree seedling. In 2009 43.5% of the 2007 harvested area was expected to regenerate naturally* and 56.5% by artificial means ie planting (or a small amount 2.4% by seeding).
  • While provinces regulate provincial harvest by annual allowable cuts, the actual volume of wood may be somewhat different. Cuts on private, territorial and federal lands are unregulated. The report concludes that it is "therefore difficult to determine the sustainable level of harvest on these lands." Estimates are that for 2009 the annual softwood supply was 188 million cubic metres mm3 with 95 mm3 cut that year while the annual hardwood supply was 58 mm3 with 20 mm3 cut that year.
  • As of Dec 2010, Canada has 149.8 million hectares of forest certified to one or more of three certification systems, the largest area of certified forest in the world representing  42% of the total certified forests worldwide.
GallonLetter thinks that the State of Canada's Forest has the potential to be seen to have too much emphasis on the economics of the forest industry. It is a quandary for governments to find the right path between promoting the competitiveness of the industry while at the same time maintaining a proper role as regulator to protect the environment.


* As trees are living organisms, whether planting directly or allowing natural regeneration which happens by itself (no cost to the forest companies), reforesting has its challenges. Just because seedlings are planted or the cut areas are expected to regenerate naturally doesn't mean the seedlings grow. Canadian Forest Service scientist David Paré said in a Natural Resources Canada newsletter, "Every tree species requires certain conditions to regenerate naturally. Some species prefer to grow under the forest canopy, while others prefer large openings to regenerate. Some species require particular soil conditions, such as exposed mineral soil or decomposing woody debris."

Forest Products: The below 2% Solution

After hearing Canada's Environment Minister Kent say yet again that Canada's greenhouse gas emissions were "barely 2%" of the global emissions as if that meant Canada's emissions were too small to act on even though Canada is among the top ten of global emitters, GallonLetter was taken aback to read that even below 2% can be "significant" indeed and a .1% change is a "turnaround".

One of the indicators is Contribution of Forest Products to Gross Domestic Product. The sector includes forestry and logging, wood product manufacturing and pulp and paper manufacturing.

From 2006 to 2009, the share of the forest product sector of Canada's GDP is said to have dropped significantly. Until 2006, the share was over 2.5% but less than 3% which it has been for more than a decade. Beginning in 2006, the share of the forest product sector began to decline falling to 1.7% in 2009 a record low, and rising slightly in 2010 to 1.8% at $22.6 billion. Of course, in some cases but not this one, declining share of GDP doesn't mean the sector itself is declining but could just mean that other sectors of the economy are growing at a greater rate.

The report calls a one-year difference of .1% from 2009 to 2010 a "turnaround" which is credited to federal programmes such as Pulp and Paper Green Transformation.
The 1.8% share of GDP of the forest product sector in 2010 is described in other parts of the report as "Canada's forest industry contributes significantly to the nation's economy", "The Canadian forest industry is a major employer nationwide..." and "Canada's forest industry contributes substantially to the Canadian economy..."

Of course, one of the issues as the report points out is that a few communities (about 200 of them) are forest dependent. Maybe next time Minister Kent talks of the, in his view, negligible level of Canada's share of global greenhouse gas emissions, he'll apply the same significance to Canada's GHG emissions and remember the island and other communities around the world dependent on current sea levels.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Due to public concern about old growth forests, the Canadian Forest Service organized a science symposium on old growth forest in 2001. Even defining old growth forests turned out to be not any easier than defining other biological phenomenon such as "species" or "life". In a presentation to the 2003 World Forest Congress, scientists Mosseler, Thompson and Pendrel drew on the information from the CFS Symposium to try to get at the concept of "old-growthness" by listing the features of an old-growth forest in the temperate zone:

"Structural features:
1. uneven or multi-aged stand structure, or several identifiable age cohorts
2. average age of dominant species approaching half the maximum longevity for species (approximately 150+ years for most shade-tolerant trees)
3. some old trees at close to their maximum longevity (ages of 300+ years)
4. presence of standing dead and dying trees in various stages of decay
5. fallen, coarse woody debris
6. natural regeneration of dominant tree species within canopy gaps or on decaying logs

Compositional features:
7. long-lived, shade-tolerant tree species associations (e.g., sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, red spruce, eastern hemlock, white pine)
Process features:
8. characterized by small-scale disturbances creating gaps in forest canopy
9. a long natural rotation for catastrophic or stand-replacing disturbance (e.g., a period greater than the maximum longevity of the dominant tree species)
10. minimal evidence of human disturbance
11. final stages of stand development before a relatively steady state is reached."

While old-growth forests provide a number of services such as habitat, an undervalued feature is the role of old-growth forests as reservoirs of genetic diversity and reproductive fitness. Loss of old growth forests is a loss of the gene pool which could help to make the forest more resilient under changing conditions. The paper says old growth forests are too important to leave to environmentalists, "It is an important issue with implications for ecological science, the long-term health of our forest economy, and our quality-of-life. It is time for the wider forestry community - the forest sector as a whole - to embrace this issue in a more serious way and to take up the cause of old-growth conservation."

Age Distribution of Canada's Forests

GallonLetter notes that the paper didn't discuss what portion of Canada's forest is old growth but somewhat dated data from Canada's National Forest Inventory which is supposed to be updated soon has several tables with relative age of forests by ecozone and forest types: coniferous, deciduous and mixed. The data could be from 2001 or 2006. There are 397.3 million hectares of forest, other wooded land and other land with tree cover in Canada. Canada has 10% of the world's forest area and 30% of the world's boreal forest. Other wooded land, which is 12.5% of this area, includes treed wetlands (swamps) and areas with scattered trees. Coniferous forests represent 67% of the total forest land (234.7 million hectares), mixedwoods make up 16% (55 million hectares) and broadleaf 11% (37.7 million hectares).

The dominant age class of Canada's coniferous forests is 81-120 years. Of the coniferous forests 8.8% are over 161 years of age, 10.1% of these forests are 121-160 years old and 49.9% are 81-120 years of age. The oldest age-class category (161+) covers 20.6 million hectares. The dominant age class of Canada’s broadleaf and mixedwood forests are 41-80 years. For broadleaf forests, .3% are over 161 years old, 2.2% are 121-160 years old, 24.4% are 81-120 years old. For mixed forests, .6% are 161 years or older, 2.9% are 121-160 years old, 36.2% are 81-120 years old.

Mosseler, A., Thompson and B. Pendrel. Old-growth Forests in Canada - A Science Perspective 0042-B1 Presentation to the XII World Forest Congress. Quebec City, Quebec: 2003.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


In 2009, British Columbia enacted a Wood First Act which requires that all provincially funded building projects to use wood as the primary construction material. The procurement standard is intended to help BC forest workers, help to deal with climate change* and showcase wood products in non-residential buildings. Only 19% of commercial and institutional buildings use wood in construction. .

In November, Mary Tracey, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC and executive member of the BC Wood Enterprise Coalition announced that 40 communities had used wood in local projects or developed policies of wood procurement to promote a "wood culture". The first municipal building built under the Act's requirements was the Emergency Services Centre in Nakusp, BC. which includes a fire hall, search and rescue centre, ambulance station and regional training centre. Construction material was secured and milled through a local community forest company.
* The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends sustainable forest management with harvests which extend "carbon retention in harvested wood products, product substitution, and producing biomass for bio-energy. This carbon is removed from the atmosphere and is available to meet society’s needs for timber, fibre, and energy."

Nabuurs, G.J., O. Masera, K. Andrasko, P. Benitez-Ponce, R. Boer, M. Dutschke, E. Elsiddig, J. Ford-Robertson, P. Frumhoff, T. Karjalainen, O. Krankina, W.A. Kurz, M. Matsumoto, W. Oyhantcabal, N.H. Ravindranath, M.J. Sanz Sanchez, X. Zhang, 2007: Forestry. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


Steve Marshall of Morris Group of Companies in Sudbury sees the potential of steel containers used to supply mining camps for providing shelter on native reserves. One set of retrofitted containers used for an Ontario Power Generation work camp for 800 workers will become First Nations housing later. Work camps used to be based on wood trailers but Marshall says steel containers have advantages including:
  • greater rigidity means they can be stacked and moved.
  • prefabrication installs bedrooms and washrooms.
  • They don't have to be built on site just connected together.
  • the lifespan is five times longer than wood and they are 100% recyclable. There is less problem for mould as insulation is moisture resistant.
GallonLetter notes the issues of housing in native communities are more complex than material types; as we have commented on certified green buildings, the operation of the home is also crucial. Celebrity renovator Mike Holmes has suggested that housing in native communities could provide local employment to build energy efficient and environmentally preferable housing.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


TAPPI which describes itself as "The Leading Technical Association for the Worldwide Pulp, Paper and Converting Industry" gets this issue's out-on-a-limb-award for the mindset which ignores all the lifecycle impacts of forestry and manufacturing including equipment, roads and transport, pollution from production of paper, energy use and loss of biodiversity even if paper in the US were really 100% sourced from "tree farms". In addition, paper comes in many products from all around the world and some of it is sourced from old growth, rainforests and threatened habitat.
TAPPI says, "Where do trees for making paper come from?
Most trees used for paper come from forests called managed timberlands. Even though the trees in these timberlands may look like “woods,” they are an agricultural crop - like vegetables on a farm. The trees are grown to be made into products for human use. Not using paper in order to save trees is like not eating salad in order to “save” vegetables."

GallonLetter notes that the conversion of forests to plantations of trees is one which environmentalists criticize all over the world encompassing not only paper but also other plantations such as palms for palm oil. It is certainly true that the US has more of what can be considered tree farms due to such conversion. Certainly most of the public would agree that trees grown by nurseries, Christmas tree farms, orchards and perhaps other crop trees such as olives and nut trees are not forests. These along the lines of what TAPPI suggests could be considered tree farms.

However, that doesn't mean the paper is like eating a salad. We don't recommend wasting salad either but the lifecycle of paper is different from lettuce. Depending on the paper, forestry operations may include use of soil sterilants and broad spectrum herbicides which in general are more hazardous to health and the environment than those used on food crops (although this may not be universally true) . Paper processing includes various chemicals for treatment and bleaching and associated industrial activities such as mining for pigments. While some paper is labelled as to its source, other paper is sourced from old growth, tropical and sensitive or threatened habitats. Saving paper has the potential to save those trees and the lifecycle impacts of the paper chain. Paper is found in a wide range of products not just those envelopes labelled with the forest certification logos. Besides trees, unlike lettuce, form a landscape: many municipalities have had tree conservation bylaws for 50 or more years. Although the US has federal rules to protect leafy greens from food contamination, we have not yet heard of a Lettuce Conservation By-Law to constrain rampant harvesting of salad rows.

Paid subscribers see link to original documents and references here.


            Subject: Deep Words, Shallow Words: an Initial Analysis of Water Discourse in Four Decades of UN Declarations

We've recently released the above-captioned report which is getting some excellent and supportive feedback from a variety of quarters. The report examines the changing language of water in high-level declarations from eleven UN conferences on water and the environment over the past forty years and constitutes a contribution by the Institute to the Rio+20 process. Multiple themes are addressed and a four page ‘Summary for Decision Makers’ distills lessons learned.

We hope the study will facilitate the efforts of Ministers and Policy Makers to both build on and avoid unnecessary overlap with work done at previous meetings. The findings of the report should assist drafters of future UN Declarations in ensuring their outputs are effective, robust and reflect mindful and cumulative deepening of work undertaken at previous high-level meetings.

More information and a link to the report itself can be found at: for a link to the full report and also a summary for decision makers. See also the EurekAlert release

Kind regards,
Alex Bielak

Dr. Alex T. Bielak, Senior Research Fellow and Knowledge Broker
Freshwater Ecosystems Programme, United Nations University - Institute for Water, Environment & Health (UNU-INWEH) and Senior Advisor to the Chair - UN-Water
UNU-INWEH - The UN Think Tank on Water


The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) (Gord Miller) Annual Report says the government is pretty good at defining environmental problems and even has some good approaches to solutions but "too often they don't get on with implementing solutions." Waste management, endangered species and the regulatory framework for dealing with environmental protection before promotion of industrial development are amongst the key issues on which the government has not acted. Budgets for the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment have been reduced over time: combined the budgets used to be 2.15% of government operations in 1992/93 and now is just .76% of the 2010/11 operational expenditures. Millers says, "We don't even pay one percent of our operational dollar to protect our natural environment."

Planning for Natural Heritage

The Ministry of Natural Resources published the second edition of the Natural Heritage Reference Manual for Natural Heritage Policies of the Provincial Policy Statement PPS, 2005. The manual outlines how planning jurisdictions such as municipalities should approach planning using criteria to identify significant woodlands and other lands (previously there were no criteria) and adding buffer land so development land doesn't infringe on the ecological workings of the natural heritage area. More guidance is provided on how planners should determine the "no negative impacts" and what should be included in an environmental impact study and how to update municipal official plans and zoning to reflect the changes in criteria with more emphasis on connectivity between natural heritage features. ECO commends the Ministry on its updates but says the PPS hasn't been amended and still is putting development ahead of environment for land use planning. The province, through MNR, needs to be the one to take the big picture approach and plan a provincial scale natural heritage system for Ontario to connect the finer-scale preservation of local municipalities.

Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (Cltip)

Many natural areas are on private property. In 2010, MNR finalized a document to revise the program begun in 1998 to encourage private landowners to protect natural heritage. The portion of land under the CLTIP provides 100% property tax relief. The regulation O. Reg 282/98 covering this program previously didn't tell the landowner what activities must be avoided on approved lands and the revision provided that information. ECO commends the MNR with finally setting a policy for the program (after  more than  10 years of the programme) but is less happy that new owners of property are ineligible if the property has been used for activities such as commercial harvesting in the last ten years. ECO says this policy penalizes new owners whose land would be eligible after they complete restoration work. Tax-exempt lands put an additional burden on smaller municipalities; although the Ministry of Finance does not compensate municipalities, it says that it takes the CLTIP into account in transfer payments.

Farming Practices to Get Rid of Trees: Precursor to Development

In theory, there are limits to the cutting of forests as some municipalities have tree conservation bylaws and the province has restrictions on provincially significant woods and wetlands. The report discusses the on-the-ground practices which allow farmers to cut trees as part of normal farming practice. On first glance, this is justified as merely expanding the fields and the yields but once wetlands and woods are gone, it is easier to get approvals for other land uses such as aggregates because there aren't any ecological features such as woods or wetlands left to cause conflicts.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Engaging Solutions: Comments of the Commissioner to the Legislature. Toronto, Ontario: 2011.
Engaging Solutions: Annual Report 2010/2011. Toronto, Ontario: 2011
Engaging Solutions: Annual Report Supplement 2010/2011. Toronto, Ontario: 2011.


On Nov. 16, 2011, a panel of environmental experts explored Canada's environmental past and the challenges for the future. Bob Gibson, Robert Paehlke, Karen Kraft Sloan and Colin Isaacs were panelists in "Deep Roots, New Shoots" with Nicola Ross as moderator.


Recap: "Deep Roots, New Shoots" Recap. 21 November, 2011
Co-presented by CIGI and Alternatives Journal - Environmental Ideas + Action November 16, 2011
by Tenille Bonoguore, publisher of Alternatives Journal

The global environmental outlook is dire, governments are failing, and individuals are losing faith in the entire process of democracy, but the panel at “Deep Roots, New Shoots” still found much cause for optimism for the future.

Jointly hosted by CIGI and Alternatives Journal to celebrate the national environmental magazine’s 40th anniversary, the wide-ranging discussion addressed the fallacy of unlimited economic growth, the role of science in public policy, the breakdown of democracy and the dire need for leadership.

Through it all, the expert panel remained adamant that we can create a more sustainable future. The last 40 years have produced great environmental advances, like the Blue Box program, control of acid rain-causing gases, and even the drastic reduction in cigarette smoking.

“It’s important to recognize the change for the better is indeed possible,” said panellist Colin Isaacs, a journalist, sustainability consultant, former politician and previous Pollution Probe executive director. “We need leadership to move us in the right direction, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll beat the catastrophe that is coming.”

The chances of that happening right now are slim, though. Recent progress on international issues, Isaacs said, “has been abysmal.”

Canada in particular has failed on numerous levels in recent years by cutting funding to researchers and ENGOs, limiting the ability of these groups to access the halls of power, and failing to embrace global environmental efforts, the panel said. Karen Kraft Sloan, a former federal politician and Ambassador for the Environment, said this failure has greatly damaged Canada’s international reputation. “It’s not just your reputation on the environment file. It’s your reputation on the other files as well that is impacted,” she said. “If you’re not trusted and you don’t want to play [on environmental matters], you’re not going to get invited, and that’s what I think the government of the day has missed the boat on.”

And that isn’t going unnoticed. Alternatives Journal founder and Trent University professor emeritus Bob Paehlke told the audience that on a recent UN-related trip, he found “most Europeans and some Africans are very aware that Canada has changed.”

But government alone can’t be expected to produce the vast change needed. Nor can technology be the saviour it appeared to be in the 1950s (and continues to be today in many circles). Meanwhile, simply mitigating the worst effects of climate change by making cleaner cars and more energy-efficient televisions isn’t enough.

“We’re sliding even more deeply into unsustainability,” said University of Waterloo professor and Alternatives columnist Bob Gibson. “Every one of our undertakings should be making a positive contribution to sustainability.”

Creating a sustainable society will require massive societal change, which will take time. The reality of climate change, however, is brutally urgent. Caught between those competing demands are individuals who are losing faith in the future and in the governing bodies tasked with shaping it, the panel said. So who needs to take responsibility for the environment?

Global governments are essential in shaping an agreed path, despite the fact those efforts are often hamstrung by competing national interests. Environmental groups play a significant role in pressing for change. Business is a powerful force for good and bad. And universities have the potential to encourage cross-disciplinary and policy-driven research, thereby raising the quality of public policy.

Ultimately, however, “no one group has sole responsibility. It’s shared,” said Isaacs.

That makes it incumbent upon policy makers in government to work with scientists and environmentalists, and for all of those groups to work with communities.
“If you’re searching for a new way, the public themselves has to take responsibility, and there has to be infrastructure that allows that voice to come through,” said Kraft Sloan. “You’re not going to make the shift to sustainability unless the public is involved.”

Gibson agreed, saying the world needs “tens of thousands of leaders”, not a single saviour.

With the right leadership, the audience was told, things can change. And, as Gibson pointed out to wrap up the event, given humanity’s track record on environmental matters, the bar for success is pretty low. “Because we’ve been so unbelievably stupid,” he said, “it’s not very hard to be completely bloody brilliant.”

Visit CIGI Online for their recap of the event and to watch a video of the full panel discussion.

"Deep Roots, New Shoots" Recap | Alternatives Journal - Environmental Ideas + Action


Eleven high-level United Nations conferences over 40 years have addressed water and the environment. The report Deep Words, Shallow Words by Alex Bielak and PhD student Dana Mount of the UN University (see letter to editor) explores how some conferences have failed to take into account previous agreements. Over time, the language has also changed due to emerging issues, understanding and concepts. The Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development will also result in various resolutions related to water. This report is intended to help the Conference consider the historic treatment of key water-related themes.

Some of the issues include:
  • water scarcity tends to be discussed in the context of safe drinking water. Scientists are reporting on water scarcity beyond its availability for drinking but scarcity has disappeared from declaration in the last ten year.
  • the language of desertification which is related to water scarcity is sparsely mentioned but strong language is used where desertification affects agriculture..
  • water quality appears in most declarations but with inconsistent language. More recently the issue has focussed more on global inequality deepening to include safety and focus on threats to clean water such as pollution.
  • sanitation is a complex topic because people don't want to talk about urination and defecation and. not all sanitation problems are linked to local water quality.
  • the term technology is more often used than science. Science can build capacity, transfer knowledge and tools for transferring appropriate technology.
  • the language of climate change in more recent declarations expresses a more serious concern than the more vague future-worry it used to have in older declarations.
More issues and details such as on poverty, health and gender are provided in the report.

Mount, Dana C. and Alex .T Bielak. Deep Words, Shallow Words: An Initial Analysis of
Water Discourse in Four Decades of UN Declarations, UNU-INWEH, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: October 2011.


A small company Rain Barrels in Hamilton is offering community and other groups fundraising opportunities by selling rainbarrels by the truckload. Groups wishing to hold a sale are asked to complete a "Partnership Request" form which explores the feasibility of the event based on answers to questions on:
  • cost comfort level for homeowners buying the barrels
  • number of board members, staff, and active volunteers
  • role of the group in the community
  • history of past events held by the group and how these are communicated
  • extent of the email contact list for the event
  • location description and date
The company helps to promote the event on the website through a link to "Find a truckload rain barrel sale near you" 

One of the features communicated to GallonLetter by outreach coordinator David Hart Dyke, who was also a Green Party Candidate for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Chair of the Waste Reduction Task Force in Hamilton and local environmental activist is that the barrels are food grade. They formerly contained fruit, vegetable or other food items.

The barrels are ready to assemble with a top filter basket, side overflow, barrel to barrel connector, overflow hose and a bottom-side spigot with a garden host thread. There are different colors (terracotta, grey and slate) and different sizes (180-223 litres). There are also tanks 100-275 gallons. These are  also available at the facility. Prices are lower for each unit if delivered for sale by the truckload. The tanks are about $100 and the barrels $50.

Maintenance includes clearing debris and indoor storage is recommended but if kept outdoors the barrels must be free of liquids otherwise the 2 year warranty is void. Replacement parts are available from the company or at any local hardware store.

The company has had a special event where local artists painted the barrels turning a utility into a rather attractive garden art. They deliver all over Ontario and have a few locations in Quebec.

Rain Barrels. Stoney Creek, Ontario.


On October 31, 2011 in the House of Commons, the New Democratic Party, Canada's Official Opposition, introduced a ban-asbestos motion. Mr. Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt, NDP) moved:

"That, in the opinion of the House, the government should:
(a) ban the use and export of asbestos;
(b) support international efforts to add chrysotile asbestos to the list of hazardous chemical products under the Rotterdam Convention;
(c) assist affected workers by developing a Just Transition Plan with measures to accommodate their re-entry into the workforce;
(d) introduce measures dedicated to affected older workers, through the employment insurance program, to assure them of a decent standard of living until retirement; and
(e) support communities and municipalities in asbestos producing regions through an investment fund for regional economic diversification.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to introduce this New Democratic Party motion calling for a ban on the use and export of all forms of asbestos and a just transition plan for asbestos-producing workers and communities.
I am especially honoured to share my time with my colleague from Winnipeg Centre. Like me, he was exposed early to asbestos and he became a tenacious labour leader for health and safety rights for workers. Since his election 14 years ago, in 1997, he has championed in this House the ban on asbestos.
Today we are closer to that than ever before. I am grateful for my colleague, for my New Democratic Party and for a broad coalition of national and international health care, trade union and human rights advocates that have fought this fight.

Let us not mince words: asbestos is extremely harmful. Asbestos kills. This is a substance so noxious that is has been banned from manufacturing processes in Canada, yet we export it to countries such as India, where our government has accepted the absurd claim that it is safe to use. For a government that purports to be friendly to immigrants, this is real hypocrisy.

The medical community has been clear and unanimous in refuting the industry argument that although asbestos is dangerous, chrysotile is just fine. There may be different forms of asbestos; they may have varying chemical makeups and different lengths of shapes and fibres, but they all produce disease, some worse than others.
As Canadians and as a country with international responsibilities, we know that the right thing to do is to ban the extraction and exporting of asbestos."

The motion was defeated by the governing Conservatives but Canadians who care should take the time to read the transcript of this parliamentary debate. If the issue weren't so serious, the read may even make you laugh as opposition members keep asking the Acting Speaker to bring David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, to order in his 20 minute speech because he is talking about forestry when the topic is asbestos. The Acting Speaker says that it is the habit of the Chair to let the members of Parliament make their own way to the topic and eventually says, "I trust that the parliamentary secretary will do that. There is one minute remaining in his speech."

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. 41st Parliament, 1st Session. Edited Hansard • Number 040. Ottawa, Ontario: October 31, 2011.


GallonLetter was in communication with Suren Erkman, Professor and Director at ICAST (Institute for Communication and Analysis of Science and Technology) in Switzerland. He mentioned that he was in India in regard to ROI. It turns out ROI is Resource Optimization Initiative, a public charitable trust in India, which is using "tools of industrial ecology to recommend and promote strategies for sustainable management of critical resources. Our main activities are research and outreach for industrial ecology in developing countries." On November 28, ICAST and partners held a symposium on the critical role and challenges of energy for emerging countries such as India. Depleting resources, energy subsidies, poverty reduction and pressure to switch to cleaner energy are amongst the challenges which require new strategies and new policies.

The ROI website has a number of case studies including one on how industrial ecology has been used for diversifying the corporate structure. A paper company Seshasayee Paper and Boards Ltd (SPB), in Tamil Nadu which began production in 1962 set up a sugar mill to ensure a source of material because forest are being rapidly deforested in India. The sugar waste called bagasse was used for paper and molasses from the sugar mill went to a distillery nearby. The company engaged with the farmers to ensure a steady supply of sugarcane and also supplied them with water, treated wastewater from paper making. The waste after paper making and other biomass from agriculture was used as bioenergy for their own power plant.

Resource Optimization Initiative. Bangalore, India .


IISD announced the launch of Sustainable Development Policy & Practice A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio +20)


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