Aran O'Carroll at the announcement of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Toronto, May 2010

by Aran O'Carroll

CPAWS is an organization with a long history of protecting Canada's wilderness having led the creation of over 2/3rd of Canada's protected areas - or half a million square kilometres - since its establishment 50–years ago in 1963.  As part of its modus operandi, CPAWS has a proud tradition of collaborating with unlikely allies to advance the protection of Canada's remaining wilderness from the Muskawa Kechika in British Columbia, through the Lands for Life partnership in Ontario to the recent Colin Stewart Forest Forum process in Nova Scotia to name but a few. Despite CPAWS lengthy resume of collaborative achievements, no other initiative illustrates CPAWS tradition of collaboration more clearly or definitively than the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – the Agreement CPAWS forged with its sister organizations and the majority of the Canadian forest sector – the membership of the Forest Products Association of Canada - in the spring of 2010 following two-years of coordinated intensive negotiations.

This enormously ambitious Agreement will advance protection of Canada's wilderness, establish new protected areas across the Boreal, in close collaboration with municipal, Aboriginal and provincial governments and simultaneously ensure the forest industry, and the communities that depend upon it, a prosperous and sustainable future. Few other organizations have the tenacity and commitment to exploit the opportunity that the CBFA represents.  On leave from CPAWS as now the Executive Director of the CBFA Secretariat, I am daily reminded of CPAWS remarkable strengths and just as I was in this photo in May of 2010 on the stage in Toronto with Steve Kallick (Program Officer, Pew Charitable Trusts) and Avrim Lazar (then CEO, FPAC) as we announced the CBFA, I remain enormously proud to be associated with this remarkable, effective and storied organization.