Supporting biological diversity takes centre stage for National Forest Week 2023
From September 17-23, 2023, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are invited to celebrate National Forest Week (NFW). Through this one-week campaign led by the CIF-IFC, individuals from all ways of life can learn more about the forest sector and its significance to Canada’s culture, history, and future, while also supporting a greater recognition of forests as a valuable, renewable and green resource.
This year’s theme “Canada’s Forests: Supporting Biological Diversity”, highlights how biological diversity in our forests is critical to our survival. From fresh air and water, food security, medicines, shelter to innovative products and technologies, forests and trees provide many cultural, societal, environmental, and economical benefits.
Biodiversity is defined as: “the variability of life (plants, animals, bacteria, etc.) found in the world’s ecosystems. Biodiversity includes genetic differences within species and variations in the ecosystems they inhabit” (NRCan, 2023).
Having the third-largest forest area in the world, Canada’s forests are made up of 32 native conifer, 125 native hardwood, and at least 55 exotic tree species (NRCan, 2023; StatCan, 2018). These forests serve an important part in supporting biodiversity and are home to a wide variety of wildlife, plants, fungi, mosses, and lichens.Within Canada’s forests, there are a number of characteristics that impact the ability of species to flourish and grow, including age, composition, and structure. Additionally, forest disturbances (i.e., wildfire, drought, and disease) can also influence forest characteristics, which can also be affected by climate change.Through sustainable forest management practices, forest practitioners, professionals, researchers, and scientists are playing a key role in protecting biodiversity amidst a changing climate, helping ensure our forests remain strong for generations to come.How our forests support and maintain biological diversity are highlighted in our NFW 2023 daily sub-themes:
- Sunday, September 17, 2023 – Benefits of biodiversity
- Monday, September 18, 2023 – Biodiversity in the forest
- Tuesday, September 19, 2023 – Biodiversity in a changing world
- Wednesday, September 20, 2023 – Forest ecosystem services and products
- Thursday, September 21, 2023 – Maintaining biodiversity
- Friday, September 22, 2023 – Connecting with forests
- Saturday, September 23, 2023 – Responsible forest management
There are many ways you can participate in NFW including: engaging in CIF-IFC’s free NFW-themed contests and activities, learning about forests and trees through the Institute’s educational resources, organizing or participating in a tree plant or NFW event, exploring a forest near your home, or learning more about forests and sustainable forest management. Check out the 2023 National Forest Week Toolkit to discover how you can participate!
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 2023. Diversity: The key to resilience in forest ecosystems.
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 2023. How much forest does Canada have?
- Statistics Canada (StatCan). 2018. Forests in Canada – Section 2 Forests and the forest sector in Canada.
Date published: September 15, 2023