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Sustainably using biological resources

Goal 7: Biological resources - Sustainable production and consumption of biological resources are within ecosystem limits.

Progress towards Goal 7: Annual harvest of timber relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable

From 1990 until 2010, timber harvests in Canada were between 86% and 48% of the estimated supply of wood deemed sustainable for harvest. Canada's wood supply has remained relatively stable since 1990 at an average of 242 million cubic metres.

 

Of 155 major fish stocks assessed and reported in 2011, 72 stocks (about 46%) were classified as "healthy." Seventeen stocks (11%) were classified as "critical," where the productivity of the stock is considered to be at a level that may cause serious harm to the resource.

From 1990 until 2010, timber harvests in Canada were between 86% and 48% of the estimated supply of wood deemed sustainable for harvest.

Regulating the amount of wood that can be harvested is central to sustainable forest management strategies. Tracking harvest volumes allows forest managers to determine whether these levels comply with regulated amounts. "Wood supply" is the term used to describe the estimated volume of timber that can be harvested from an area while meeting criteria for sustainability. In Canada, various planning processes are used to estimate wood supply, depending on the forest land's ownership and regulatory environment.

Canada's wood supply has remained relatively stable since 1990, at an average of 242 million cubic metres. In 2004, the total harvest volume reached a peak of 208 million cubic metres, and then declined to a low of 117 million cubic metres in 2009 -- the smallest harvest since 1990. The overall decline is the result of economic factors that have reduced the demand for Canadian lumber because of the slowdown in the U.S housing market, and a reduced demand for Canadian pulp and paper products.

Sustainable forest management requires that the volume of wood harvested does not affect the long-term prospects of the forest as a resource. Figure 4.11 illustrates the reduction in wood harvests since 2005 relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable.

For the most up-to-date information on this indicator, please visit CESI.

Figure 4.11: Wood supply deemed sustainable for harvest and total harvest, Canada, 1990 to 2010

Wood supply deemed sustainable for harvest and total harvest, Canada, 1990 to 2010

Long description

The top line in the graph shows the total wood supply in Canada from 1990 to 2010. Canada's wood supply has remained relatively stable since 1990, at an average of 242 million cubic metres. The bottom line in the graph shows the total harvest volume from 1990 to 2010. The total harvest volume reached a peak of 208 million cubic metres in 2004, then declined to a low of 117 million cubic metres in 2009, the smallest harvest since 1990.

Progress towards Goal 7: Status of major fish stocks

Of 155 major fish stocks assessed and reported in 2011, 72 stocks (46%) were classified as "healthy." Seventeen stocks (11%) were classified as "critical," where the productivity of the stock is considered to be at a level that may cause serious harm to the resource.

The status of fish stocks helps evaluate the impacts of past fishing and to manage present and future fishing pressures. The amount of fish that can be harvested is adjusted to keep stocks in the healthy status zone. A precautionary approach is applied to lower the permitted harvest where the stock is in the "cautious" zone, and to keep fishing to the lowest possible level if the stock is in the "critical" zone.

Figure 4.12 illustrates the status of major fish stocks in Canada in 2011. For the most up-to-date information on this indicator, please visit CESI.

Figure 4.12: Status of major fish stocks, Canada, 2011

Status of major fish stocks, Canada, 2011

Long description

The pie chart shows the proportion of major fish stocks in each stock status zone: 46% are classified as "healthy zone," 20% as "cautious zone," 11% as "critical zone," and 23% as "status unknown."

 


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