PROTECT THE GREAT NORTHERN FOREST AND ITS INCREDIBLE DIVERSITY OF LIFE

The Great Northern Forest

The Boreal Forest © Greenpeace

The world’s Great Northern Forest has stood tall for thousands of years. Stretching from Alaska, through Canada’s north, to Sweden and Finland all the way to the Pacific coast of Russia, the Great Northern Forest includes the traditional territories of many Indigenous Peoples who have stewarded these landscapes since time immemorial. This unique global ecosystem that appears as a green crown around the top of the plant is home to an incredibly rich diversity of life. It stores more carbon in its trees and soils than all the world’s tropical rainforests combined1 (an estimated minimum 208 billion tonnes), and plays a critical role in preventing climate chaos.

In Canada, the Great Northern Forest – also known as Canada’s boreal forest - extends across Canada’s north, goes south of the Arctic Circle, and covers more than half of our country’s landmass like a great green arc. It is a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape of granite outcrops, lakes, rivers and marshes, interspersed with pine, spruce, aspen and poplar forests. These lands and waters have been inhabited by a great many First Nations for millennia, and is also home to Métis Nation communities, as well as non-Indigenous communities.

A Forest Under Threat

Today, continued destruction of the unique plants and animals of Canada’s Great Northern Forest threatens the long-term health of this global ecosystem. Iconic species such as woodland caribou and wolverine are threatened by industrial and unsustainable logging practices.

One of the largest logging companies in North America, Resolute Forest Products, is destroying key areas of the Great Northern Forest and has abandoned sustainability efforts. These practices endanger communities whose livelihoods depend on a healthy boreal forest ecosystem. Greenpeace has been speaking up and raising awareness of Resolute’s controversial forestry practices and instead of working collaboratively with Greenpeace and other stakeholders to find lasting solutions for the forest, workers and local communities, Resolute has filed a $300 million Canadian dollar (CAD) lawsuit against Greenpeace USA, Greenpeace International, Stand.earth and individual activists, as well as a separate CAD$7 million lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada and individual activists

Resolute is attempting to silence legitimate public concerns, all the while ignoring scientific recommendations for the health of the forest and thus the longevity of the forest products industry. Learn more about the lawsuit here.

Solutions

Ultimately, more needs to be done among governments, corporations, and environmental advocates to promote lasting solutions in the boreal forest for local communities, workers, First Nations, and the forest. Learn more about how Greenpeace works to protect the Great Northern Forest.

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous knowledge and governance will provide concrete and lasting solutions to protecting our forested landscapes for future generations, and can also chart a path to a new era of reconciliation in Canada. Learn more about how we can work together with Indigenous Peoples to establish lasting forest solutions.

FAQs

Want to know more about Greenpeace’s Great Northern Forest campaign? Curious about why Resolute is suing Greenpeace and its critics? Read the answers to these questions and more below.

What is Greenpeace asking Resolute to do in the boreal forest?
Isn’t the Canadian logging industry the most responsible in the world?
Why are Intact Forest Landscapes important?
What is the history of Greenpeace and Resolute?


1 - Gauthier, S., Bernier, P., Kuuluvainen, T., Shvidenko, A.Z. & Schepaschenko, D.G. (2015): Boreal forest health and global change. Science 349:6250. p. 819-822. - Kasischke, E.S. (2000): Boreal ecosystems in the global carbon cycle. In Kasischke, E.S., & Stocks, B.J. (eds.). Fire, Climate Change and Carbon Cycling in the Boreal Forest. EcologicalStudies 138. p. 19-30.

The latest updates

 

The Guardian Tree: Where art and the forest come together

Blog entry by Richard Brooks, Forest Campaign Coordinator | February 12, 2014 2 comments

The importance of Canada’s Boreal Forest transcends geographical, cultural and physical boundaries: it has global significance. The Boreal Forest plays a critical role in mitigating global climate change and holds some of the highest...

New Report Shows High Human Impact on Canadian Forests

Blog entry by Catharine Grant, Forest Campaigner | January 14, 2014

Global Forest Watch Canada has released the first ever Canada-wide assessment of human impacts on our landscape. Using government data and satellite imagery, the report maps the human footprint on all Canadian provinces and territories...

5 things you can do to keep our forests healthy

Blog entry by Richard Brooks | January 12, 2014

As Greenpeace Canada’s head forest campaigner, I’m often asked by friends, family, and people I meet: what is one simple thing I can do to protect our forests? Thanks to your support Greenpeace has been able to win many environmental...

12% protection not enough for Canada’s Boreal Forest

Blog entry by Catharine Grant, Forest Campaigner | January 7, 2014

This week the Canadian Press reported on progress that’s been made regarding protection in Canada’s Boreal Forest. Citing the Canadian Boreal Initiative, Bob Weber reports that: “the amount of boreal forest under some form of...

It’s not our fault says Resolute.

Blog entry by Richard Brooks | December 15, 2013

It’s not our fault - Resolute avoids taking responsibility for losing FSC certification for 8 million hectares of forest Talk about avoiding responsibility. This week it was announced that Canada’s largest logging Resolute Forest...

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