The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) Steering Committee is the representative body of the CBFA signatories and the governing body of the CBFA. It is charged with making formal decisions related to implementation of the CBFA.
The Steering Committee is composed of representatives from the signatories from across Canada. It has an independent Chair, currently Chris McDonell of Tembec. It also has two Caucus Leads, currently Mark Hubert of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) for the Industry Caucus and Cathy Wilkinson of the International Boreal Conservation Campaign (IBCC) for the ENGO Caucus.
The signatory organizations are represented by the Steering Committee, which in turn gives direction to a third party, independent Secretariat. The Secretariat is charged with supporting the CBFA’s regional and national working groups, which are composed of a team of 120 volunteer experts who are working diligently to implement the CBFA across the boreal.
Among the key activities of the working groups is developing recommendations for action plans for the recovery of woodland caribou in specific areas; providing recommendations to combat and adapt to climate change; and producing ecosystem-based management guidelines for participating companies to use to improve their forestry practices.
The CBFA Secretariat, composed of a small group of highly qualified and well-respected experts in the areas of forest management and environment, works closely with the CBFA’s forestry and environmental signatories, through the working groups, to support the implementation of the Agreement. The Secretariat has an Executive Director, Aran O’Carroll.
The CBFA Science Committee is an independent committee that supports the signatories by identifying the “best available information”, appropriate experts, and offering other science and technical decision-support. The Science Committee has an independent Chair, Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow of the University of Alberta.
The Agreement, which is an evergreen document that remains in effect until all elements have been realized, ackowledges that governments, both Aboriginal and provincial, are the final authority and that Aboriginal peoples, in particular, have treaty rights and title to the boreal forest as well as aspirations for its conservation and sustainable development.