About Canada's Boreal
The Global Significance of Canada’s Boreal Forest
Canada’s Boreal Forest is one of the world’s greatest treasures. Stretching over 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles) from Newfoundland to the Yukon, the boreal region’s nearly six million square kilometres (2.3 million square miles) make up one of the world’s largest intact forest ecosystems – even larger than the remaining Brazilian Amazon. It is a diverse region of forests, peatlands, lakes and rivers.
Canada’s Boreal Forest holds massive stores of carbon; immense populations of birds, mammals and fish; and much of the world’s freshwater in its millions of lakes and ponds and hundreds of thousands of kilometres of streams and rivers. The forest’s intact nature makes it a refugia for species that have disappeared from other parts of their range and that are forced northward by climate change. It is also home to hundreds of aboriginal communities, which depend on the ecosystem for their livelihoods.
Protecting and maintaining these valuable resources is one of the world’s last great conservation opportunities. Today’s best science shows that to do so will require at least 50% be excluded from industrial development in a system of interconnected protected areas, and that sustainable development practices be used in areas where development occurs.