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Scientists have identified the 1.2-billion-acre Canadian boreal forest as one of the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystems remaining on earth. It is home to the some of the planet’s largest populations of wolves, grizzly bear and woodland caribou and provides critical breeding grounds for almost half of North America’s migratory ducks, geese and songbirds. The boreal forest also provides globally significant “ecosystem services,” helping to remove carbon dioxide from the air and storing fresh water.
However, this region is under increasing pressure from corporate logging, mining and oil and gas operations, and only a fraction has been protected to date—far less than the amount scientifically recognized as necessary to sustain the ecosystem over time.
Pew's international boreal conservation campaign—backed by The William and Flora Hewlett and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundations with additional funding from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for the campaign’s work in Quebec—is a critical part of our efforts to restore old-growth forests and wilderness in North America. The campaign is dedicated to public education and advocacy to protect all the world’s boreal forests, but with a special emphasis on the Canadian boreal forest, where we have the best chance to make major conservation gains.
The campaign works closely with Canadian and international environmental organizations, corporations and aboriginal First Nations to reach agreement on the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, a visionary plan to protect and sustain this globally important ecosystem over time. In a recent letter, 1,500 scientists recommend preserving a minimum of half of Canada’s boreal forest in protected areas while allowing only carefully managed development on the rest, in accordance with the framework. The plan is already endorsed by Canadian conservation groups, 25 Canadian First Nations, and more than 75 major businesses with annual sales of $30 billion.
For more information, visit the International Boreal Conservation Campaign website.
Nov 12, 2009 - This report questions whether international negotiations on carbon and forest protection have adequately considered boreal forests in light of the scientific findings outlining their significance.
View: Full Report (Adobe PDF)
May 14, 2008 - Report documents conflicts and outlines proposals for fundamental reform to achieve a mining sector that is compatible with the balanced approach to conservation and development that Canadians expect within the Boreal Forest.
Apr 30, 2008 - An evaluation team found that the strategy of Pew’s campaign to protect Canada’s boreal forest had made strong progress toward its goal. It also identified the campaign as the decisive player in protecting approximately 60 million acres through the end of the evaluation period.
Jan 28, 2008 - Chapter on Evaluation and Program Analysis from Pew Prospectus 2008.
Aug 01, 2005 - The Canadian boreal forest offers the last, best hope to live on the land and draw from its resources while keeping it intact for all of its inhabitants.
Nov 01, 2003 - One in three birds across North America owes its existence to Canada's boreal forest.
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Loggers and environmentalists come together in a Pew-brokered agreement to save Canada’s boreal forest. The accord protects 178 million acres of the boreal, spanning seven Canadian provinces, and is the largest forest conservation agreement in the world.
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