Introducing the Forest Accord
By Monica Allaby, Posted on December 14, 2021
Community Forests International is delighted to present the Maritime Forest Accord, a new resource and storytelling hub dedicated to uplifting the vibrant community of people committed to forest stewardship in this region. We hope this platform will serve as a central resource hub for people and groups who care about the special forest in this part of the world. We believe that restoring the health of the Wabanaki forest means supporting the people who care for it.
About The Accord
The idea behind the project emerged during a week-long event that brought together participants from Medway Community Forest Cooperative, Mi’kmawey Forestry, the University of New Brunswick, the Wolasteqey Nation in New Brunswick, and Community Forests International.
Together, we explored how we might help the Wabanaki forest flourish for future generations. Conversations gravitated toward the challenges encountered by small private landowners, who care deeply about their forests but often face challenges aligning their management decisions with their values, including a lack of reliable information.
A Hopeful Vision for Maritime Forests
Across the Maritime Provinces, the unceded territory of the Peskotomuhkati, Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqey nations, there is a special forest type known as the Wabanaki forest. The Wabanaki forest is naturally diverse and resilient to natural disturbances. Unfortunately, very little forest remains in pre-colonial condition.
Together, we can re-imagine a future in which the forest
and the communities most connected to it
can flourish again.
Because of land grants that incentivized European settlement in the Maritimes, 40% of the region’s forestland is now owned by individual families. While the project seeks to support these family forests owners, it also highlights the importance of Indigenous forest use and rights. Respecting Aboriginal title and learning from Indigenous forest knowledge is essential to a future where the Wabanaki forest thrives again.
Project partnerships have evolved since the week-long retreat that inspired the original conception of the project, and a small community of like-minded individuals and organizations is beginning to engage regularly on issues of forest management.
We’d love for you to be part of it. In the near future, we are hoping to take this budding movement offline through discussion groups and field-days highlighting different approaches to Wabanaki forest care. Whether you’re a landowner, forest professional or friend of the forest, there is room for you here.
Visit the Maritime Forest Accord to sign up and learn more!