What is a modelforest?

It is forest laboratory serving present and future communities 


A model forest is actually a forest community laboratory in which research and development activities carried out in a forest environment may improve the well‑being of forest‑dependent communities. It is a place where sustainable forest management best practices are developed and tested in order to provide residents of forest communities with sustainable livelihoods. To achieve this objective, the various stakeholders must adopt a sustainable and integrated forest resource management system based on a forest community‑centred governance model. The technical, scientific and logistical knowledge acquired during the experiments conducted in each model forest are subsequently shared at the local, regional and provincial levels and with various model forest networks. 

The managers of model forests must deal with the present‑day biogeographical and socio‑economic circumstances of the regions where the model forests are located. Despite the differences between model forests, their managers base their approach on the same principle: that the key to success is local participation. This approach is a model for incorporating the personal interests of all forest users into a joint effort to achieve a common goal of enhancing the well‑being of forest‑dependent communities.

Therefore, a model forest isprimarily a sustainable forest management approach based on partnership. With a view to harmonizing the uses made of the forest, all of the economic, social, ecological, community, institutional and cultural players concerned are invited to work together to generate benefits for forest communities. Because local participation is the key to success, the process of determining local‑level sustainability goals and priorities should be an inclusive process so as to enable these partnerships to operate on the basis of consensus and transparency.

Since the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Canada has demonstrated leadership internationally in sustainable forest management. The Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN) and the International Model Forest Network (IMFN) were established with the help of Canadian Forest Service funding. The administrators of the Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest are very proud that their forest is part of these networks and intend to profitably employ their expertise in Canada and internationally.