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Canadian National Committee of the IPS

Chair
Dr. Jean-Yves Daigle
Canadian Society for Peat and Peatlands
196 15 ième Rue
Shippagan, NB E8S 1E8 
CANADA
Phone: +1 506 336 6600
Fax: +1 506 336 6601
E-mail: jydaigle (at) nb.sympatico.ca

Secretary
Paul Short
Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association
13 Mission Avenue Suite 2208
St. Albert, AB T8N 1H6
CANADA
Phone: +1 780 460 8280
Fax: +1 780 459 0939
E-mail: cspma (at) peatmoss.com
Web: www.peatmoss.com


Annual Report 2010

Governance:

Increasing concerns related to climate change, carbon management and wetland conservation have been the catalyst for governments throughout Canada to investigate new policies, strategies and legislation.

In Alberta peatlands are directly being considered in the development of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, as well as the Wetland Policy (draft). The regulatory process for leasing and allocation of peat for horticultural uses is being amended. Considerable effort is also being given by the oil sands industry in the restoration and reclamation of wetlands.

Manitoba has initiated discussions on a future boreal peatland strategy. A one day State of Knowledge Workshop, sponsored by Ducks Unlimited Canada, The Canadian Boreal Forest Initiative and the Manitoba government was held in Winnipeg, November 29th. It was emphasized that this is only a first step in a longer process involving many stakeholders.

Quebec’s government has been in discussions with industry over the revamping of the current legislation which governs the regulation and management of the peat industry.

Federally, work has continued on the improvement in measurement and reporting of GHG’s from horticultural peat harvesting operations. Efforts are underway to improve the partnership between the industry and Environment Canada to improve the measurement and management of peatlands.

Research:

The work of the Industrial Research Chair for peatland management has continued under the NSERC program. This year marked the 10th year of work on the Bois des Bel research bog. The results are currently being analyzed and reports are anticipated early in 2011. Fen and wet meadow restoration at Bic Saint-Fabien has also been underway. Interest in research work on sphagnum farming and its commercialization was maintained.

A natural disturbance impact on peatlands has continued through the NSERC supported research of Dr. Merritt Turetsky and Dr. Mike Waddington entitled "The effects of drought on the vulnerability of forested peatlands to wildfires".

An important conference entitled Reclamation and Restoration of Boreal Peatlands and Forest Ecosystems: Toward a Sustainable Future was held in Edmonton Alberta, March 25-27. The sessions were well attended by the research community, energy industry, forestry, government and the peat industry. Special thanks to the Organizing committee for a successful event. (Dr. Dale Vitt, Dr. Kel Wieder, Dr. Lee Foote, Dr. Jagtar Bhatti, Leonie Nadeau, Dr. Line Rochefort.)

Planning for the International Symposium; Responsible Peatland Management and Growing Media Production, www.peatlands2011.ulaval.ca to be held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada June 13-17 of 2011 was ongoing.

Industry

The harvest year was a combination of good early and mid season results, especially in Eastern Canada, followed by a much reduced harvest volume in late summer and fall.  The overall result was in general, comparable to last year which was average to below average.

Prices over the year reflected both the seasonal supply variance and the slow economy in the US, our principle market. In midsummer prices were extremely competitive given the good harvest volumes. Later in the year prices were adjusted to reflect a balance between the slower harvest and demand.

Companies remained conservative in their business activities reflecting the challenges faced by a rising Canadian dollar and the economic events in the United States.

The industry maintained its focus on the sustainability initiatives.

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) of California, the independent agency that has worked with the peat industry, government regulators and the scientific research community completed the VeriFlora® - Responsibly Managed Peatland certification (www.veriflora.com). The certification is the first peatland management certification system globally.  A number of Canadian producers (Berger Peat Moss, Fafard et Frères, Premier Horticulture.) have been independently audited under the system and have achieved certification.

An Environmental Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) was carried out. The industry is conducting an upgrade to the Environmental LCA as well as conducting a Socio/Economic LCA during 2011.

The Quebec peat industry has strengthened its activities through the Quebec Peat Association (APTHQ). New Brunswick activities of the New Brunswick Peat Producer Association (NBPPA) have continued to provide support to that Provinces interests.

Nationally the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) has engaged in increased communications initiatives to promote certification, sustainable resource allocation and responsible management of peatlands. Members have participated in active session at the Semi Annual and Annual meetings were presentations on emerging sustainable resource issues (carbon management, natural disturbances) and business challenges (economic forecast and business insurance issues) were highlighted.   Dr. Jean-Yves Daigle was recognized as an Honorary Member of the Association for his excellent support and service to the industry at this year’s Annual meeting.

FNS