Scientists have identified the 1.2 billion acre Canadian boreal forest as the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem remaining on earth. Rivaling the Amazon in size and ecological importance, Canada’s boreal supports the world's most extensive network of pure lakes, rivers and wetlands and captures and stores twice as much carbon as tropical forests. It teems with wildlife—including billions of migratory songbirds, tens of millions of ducks and geese, and millions of caribou. The Canadian boreal is an irreplaceable global treasure.
But, the boreal is under growing pressure. Recent studies have shown that globally, boreal forests are being lost faster than any other ecosystem, largely due to logging, mining and oil and gas development.
To date, The Pew Charitable Trusts has played a critical role in securing some form of protection for more than 350 million acres of Canada's boreal forest—an area three times as large as the United States National Park System. In addition, another 350 million acres are to be managed under stringent sustainable development rules.
Bold new conservation measures have come from Ontario and Quebec and other provincial governments, First Nations and federal ministries. Most recently, Pew and its partners engaged the forest products industry in what could become the largest forest conservation plan in history. The trends bode well, promising to eventually make Canada's boreal the most protected forest on earth.
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Today the boreal remains one of the largest intact forest ecosystems on Earth, in large part because of Indigenous communities guided by a conservation ethic rooted in traditional knowledge and science that has been passed down through generations. Read More
The South Nahanni River runs wild through the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada’s Northwest Territories, sluicing through canyons 3,300 feet deep and churning over a waterfall twice the height of Niagara. Tucked deep into the remote heart of the boreal forest, the river is the hard-beating pulse of Nahanni National Park Reserve, a 7.4 million-acre wilderness area every bit as pristine today as... Read More
For generations, the Sahtúgot’ine Dene people in northern Canada have told a story about the “water heart,” a power that connects all living things throughout their traditional territory. This heart beats deep within Great Bear Lake, a place as magnificent and untamed as its name suggests. Read More