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Government of Canada Extends Funding for Spruce Budworm Research to Protect Forests in Atlantic Canada

Press Release

From: Natural Resources Canada

December 16, 2022

Communities across Canada depend on healthy forests for their ecosystems and economies. Protecting the health of our forests from invasive species is a priority for our government. The spruce budworm is the most destructive pest for spruce–fir forests in Canada, and outbreaks can result in significant losses of important timber and non-timber resources, negatively affecting ecosystems, the economy and forestry-dependent communities.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the renewal of the Early Intervention Strategy for Spruce Budworm research program. This investment will continue the protection of forests in Atlantic Canada and improve the knowledge and tools needed to manage this destructive insect across Canada.

The Early Intervention Strategy (EIS) for Spruce Budworm is an innovative management approach that involves applying treatment to zones with low and growing spruce budworm populations. This method prevents outbreaks from occurring, resulting in minimal impacts on the forest economy and ecosystem. The renewed strategy also includes a small-scale research stream for eligible research institutions, with a Call for Proposals set to launch in winter 2022.

This strategy, which is being applied in Atlantic Canada, is preventing outbreaks of the spruce budworm while flattening the population curve of the pest. The results of this innovative strategy presents a model for the world. Initially funded by ACOA in 2014 and NRCan in Budget 2018, the program helps to reduce the effects of spruce budworm outbreaks, which pose a significant risk to Canada’s forests.

With this investment in Canada’s forest sector, we can continue to protect nature while halting biodiversity loss across the country. The renewal of this program requires real collaboration and partnership, including with Indigenous Peoples, to kick-start transformative change and improve the well-being of our natural environment to support our cultures, health and economy.

In the face of population growth, urbanization and global climate change, Canada has established both domestic and international biodiversity goals. By tackling the invasive spruce budworm in Atlantic Canada, we can create healthier ecosystems and habitats for species at risk.

Canada’s forest sector plays an integral role in strengthening the Canadian economy by providing a reliable source of jobs, prosperity and opportunity. The Government of Canada and its partners will continue to work together to support the development of this promising proactive strategy to combat spruce budworm outbreaks while at the same time protecting the health of the forests and economy in Atlantic Canada.

This is one of the many measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it welcomes some 196 countries to Montreal for the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, December 7–19, 2022. COP15 presents an opportunity for Canada to show its leadership in taking actions to conserve and restore nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world.


“The spruce budworm threatens the well-being of our forest ecosystems and economies. The Government of Canada announced today the renewal of the Early Intervention Strategy which prevents outbreaks and instills best practices for managing its spread. This strategy is already showing efficacy in combating this invasive species while protecting the health of our forests.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

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Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations
[email protected]

Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
[email protected]


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