Canada cultivates climate solutions with financial incentive for sustainable forest management Français

ATINEAU, QC, May 6, 2024 /CNW/ - Nature-based climate solutions play a key role in the fight against climate change, and the careful stewardship of Canadian forests is a vital example. Sustainable forest practices promote carbon storage, conserve biodiversity, and ensure resilient forest ecosystems.

Environment and Climate Change Canada continues to support sustainable forest practices with the third federal offset protocol for use under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System—Improved Forest Management on Private Land.

Forest ecosystems remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into biomass in living trees, dead organic matter, and forest soil—a process called biological carbon sequestration. Actions that increase carbon stored and avoid carbon loss in managed forests can reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—this has a lasting impact in the fight against climate change.

This new protocol gives project developers a financial incentive to implement voluntary forest management practices that will increase the amount of carbon stored in forestlands and earn revenue for those projects. Foresters, Indigenous communities, and other project developers can earn credits under this protocol by minimizing site degradation, thinning diseased trees, increasing rotation age, and doing other activities that maintain or enhance carbon storage.

Indigenous peoples in Canada have a long history of environmental stewardship. This protocol will not only help fight climate change by incentivizing forest-based emissions reduction projects but will also create economic opportunities for Indigenous communities who have been taking climate action.

Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System is among several measures that the government is taking to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and it delivers on a commitment in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. This protocol joins the existing suite of protocols under the system, which include Landfill Methane Recovery and Destruction and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Refrigeration Systems.

While this protocol is not applicable to projects on provincial or federal Crown lands (excluding First Nation reserves) and public land in the territories, Environment and Climate Change Canada will begin developing a protocol for Improved Forest Management on Public Land in 2024.

For more information on the Improved Forest Management on Private Land federal offset protocol and how to submit an application to register an offset project, please visit Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System webpage.


“Canada’s forests stand tall, not only as key components of global biodiversity, but also as a crucial pillar in reducing greenhouse gases. The new protocol announced today under Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System aligns environmental stewardship with economic opportunities. By empowering projects that enhance forest capacity to store carbon, we are sowing the seeds for a greener future that preserves our natural heritage and unlocks economic benefits for participants, including forest landowners and Indigenous communities.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Canada is rich in forest resources and a world leader in sustainable forest management. There are 25 million hectares of forests privately owned across Canada, representing seven percent of Canada’s managed forests. As Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, I am pleased that Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System now offers an additional incentive to the country’s 450,000 forest landowners to improve carbon storage in forests and support sustainable forestry for the benefit of all Canadians.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“This new federal offset protocol strikes the right balance to incentivize the sustainable management of forests through improved forest management techniques, while at the same time ensuring that the carbon sequestration capacity of this critical resource is maintained and enhanced over the long term. We are also very encouraged to see this protocol framed in such a way as to strongly support both the climate and ecological benefits of conservation efforts in Canada, including strong support for Indigenous-led projects. The Nature Conservancy of Canada looks forward to supporting this program and Canada’s conservation targets through our ongoing work to preserve biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services in Canada.”

– Rob Wilson, Director, Conservation Finance, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation is pleased with the new protocol, as it provides my Nation with an opportunity to help Mother Earth while selling offset credits from my Nation’s impending Forest Carbon Sequestration Project. Our Project will generate revenue to support the social and economic well-being of my people. Of special importance to the people, our Project will support management of the Nation’s forests for traditional use, protect species like moose and species at risk like the Woodland Caribou and the Canada Warbler, and protect our special and spiritual places. Our Project will help Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation to maintain our culture.”

– Chief Elwood Zastre, Wuskwi Sipihk First Nation

Quick facts

  • Well-managed forests can play a crucial role in mitigating climate change by acting as carbon sinks. Through the process of biological carbon sequestration, forests remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into new growth and healthy soil. Forest management can be improved to enhance carbon sequestration through improved tree growth, more sustainable harvest, and faster and healthier regeneration.
  • Forest management can also be improved to reduce the risks of forest fires—wildfires cause greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol requires risk management plans for reversals of greenhouse gas reductions, meaning that improved forest management projects can reduce the risk of natural disturbances, such as wildfires, pests, and diseases.
  • The money the forest landowner earns from selling offset credits can be put toward the costs of implementing the project and maintaining the forest over time. This provides a financial incentive to continue managing the forest in a sustainable way.
  • Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System provides an incentive for businesses, municipalities, Indigenous communities, forest landowners, farmers, and other project developers in sectors such as waste, forestry, agriculture, and advanced technology to take on projects that reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
  • To be eligible to earn credits, offset project activities must achieve greenhouse gas reductions that are real, additional, quantified, verified, unique, and permanent. For example, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions or removals generated from projects under the federal offset system must go beyond legal requirements and business-as-usual practices and must not already be incentivized by carbon pollution pricing.
  • Each federal offset credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reduced or removed from the atmosphere. Credits will only be issued and become available for use after the project has been implemented and proponents have submitted their first project reports, and if all requirements for offset credit issuance are met.
  • Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Offset Credit System creates economic opportunities for Indigenous communities and encourages the development of Indigenous-led, nature-based solutions to climate change. A Greenhouse Gas Offset Toolkit is available in several languages, including Ojibwe, Mi’kmaq, and Woods Cree.