Standards and codes of practice

Over 94% of Canada’s forests, 100% of water, and large areas of rangelands are publicly owned. A number of standards, codes of practice, and certification programs are available that encourage biodiversity conservation in these areas, and on private forest and agricultural land. Examples include:

  • five Pacific coast and seven Atlantic coast fisheries that are certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.4 For some fisheries, this is related to success in reducing by-catch. Levels of by-catch of cod, Greenland halibut, and American plaice are less than 2.5%5 and have been reported at lower levels in some areas;6
  • 28% of farms in Canada indicated in 2006 that they had developed Environment Farm Plans to reduce the impact of agricultural practices on the environment.7

Forest certification in Canada

Area (million km2), 2000 to 2009
Graph: forest certification in Canada. Click for graphic description (new window).
Source: Metafore’s Forest Certification Resource Centre, 20098

To earn certification for their forest lands, forest companies must demonstrate stewardship activities and biodiversity conservation under a sustainable forest management framework. In Canada, the amount of forest land receiving such certification has been steadily increasing since 2000. As of 2009, almost 1.5 million km2, 87% of the working forest area in Canada, had received certification. This represents 40% of the world’s certified forest.8