Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

June 28, 2012 18:33 ET

Governments of Canada and the United States to Strengthen Co-operation on Forest Health Issues

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2012) - Forest sector officials from Canada and the U.S. gathered over the past two days in Washington, at the first-ever summit on forest health, to advance scientific co-operation on shared challenges. Officials identified research areas in which collaboration and knowledge exchange could enable both countries to better protect the health and sustainability of the two nations' forests.

"This summit is an important first step toward the creation of a Canada-U.S. forest science agenda," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. "By identifying issues we can work on together, we aim to maximize the value of the critical work that scientists and researchers are doing on both sides of the border to ensure the health of our forests and forest sector."

Canada and the U.S. have a long and successful history of collaborating on resource-related issues. "The borders that separate the United States and Canada don't segregate threats to our natural resources," said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The countries share common environmental concerns. It is critical that we continue to collaborate and address current and future land management challenges as partners."

The mountain pine beetle is one such challenge. The beetle is a native insect that has seriously impacted forest stands across the western half of North America, resulting in the direct loss of tens of billions of dollars in environmental services and economic benefits.

Participants at the forest health summit agreed that the nature and scope of the issues faced today across the continent may go beyond the individual capacity of any single organization. Greater knowledge exchange and a complementary research agenda would help rally science and policy expertise within organizations from both countries.

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

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