Outbreaks of forest insects and diseases pose serious risks to the health of Canada’s forests and the success of its forest sector. Although they generally play an important role in ecological processes, forest pests can also have significant negative economic, social and environmental impacts on forested lands of both rural and urban areas across the country. With the effects of climate change and globalization, forest pest infestations are expected to become more frequent and less predictable in the future.
A collaborative, national approach that optimizes forest pest management expertise and resources is important to mitigate unacceptable impacts from new and existing forest pests at varying scales throughout the country. In this regard, the Forest Pest Working Group of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers facilitates ongoing discussion and collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial forest pest management agencies in Canada. Its work focuses on the development and implementation of a National Forest Pest Strategy, providing for an integrated framework for forest pest prevention, detection, and response. The Forest Pest Working Group is working towards best practices for analysis, decision-making and action to make forest pest management in Canada more pro-active, more coordinated and ultimately more effective.
Jean-Luc St-Germain, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada