a The Learning Garden: March 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Report: A Forest of Blue

Canada’s boreal waters - the wetlands and peatlands - store an estimated 147 billion tonnes of carbon. That is more than 25 years worth of current man-made emissions.

The input of fresh water from boreal rivers to the Arctic and other northern seas is critical to forming sea ice, which cools the atmosphere and provides the basis for much of arctic marine biodiversity.

Unfortunately, Canada’s boreal forest is increasingly affected by large-scale industrial activities. The rapidly expanding development footprint already includes 728,000 km² (180 million acres) impacted by forestry, road building, mining, oil and gas extraction, and hydropower.

Canadian and international environmental organizations, corporations and aboriginal First Nations have built the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework, endorsed by 1,500 scientists around the world. The Boreal Framework calls for protecting a minimum 50 percent of the region’s land and waters, and applying strict sustainable development rules on the remainder.

Read more here.