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.
Our WorkView All
“There’s not many places like this left,” says Chris Smith, wildlife biologist. With more than 35 years of experience, Smith heads Ducks Unlimited Canada’s boreal conservation programs, managing the nonprofit group’s science-based efforts to protect forest and wetlands in the region. Read More
Steven Nitah is chief negotiator for the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He's working to establish the proposed Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, which would protect 3.5 million acres of boreal forest and tundra from development. Thaidene Nene is hailed as a new model for national parks in Canada—one that recognizes the authority of the people... Read More
Misipawistik Cree Nation councilor Heidi Cook learned from her father and grandfather the importance of protecting lands in the boreal forest of Canada that have sustained her people for millennia. Now she's passing on that legacy to her son, Walter, whose Cree name translates to "Little Howling Wolf." Cook’s responsibilities as an elected official for the Misipawistik Cree Nation include... Read More