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

 

Every day is forest day at Greenpeace

Blog entry by Paulo Adario, UN Forests Hero, Campaigner | March 21, 2013

Today I will celebrate. And my friends and colleagues in the Greenpeace Forest campaign will too. But this is nothing different for us. We do this every day. But maybe, just maybe, the focus that a day like today brings may help our...

Billion Dollar Caribou - Who's going to win?

Blog entry by Richard Brooks | March 21, 2013

Who would you bet on? Endangered Caribou or the oil and gas industry? The Nature of Things with David Suzuki is airing a show on Thursday March 21, 2013 (and available online after that) on the last remaining and very threatened...

National Geographic names Boreal Forest as one of the last great places on Earth

Blog entry by Andisheh Beiki | March 19, 2013

The special 2012 issue of National Geographic, “50 of the World’s Last Great Places,” captivates readers with astonishing images of 50 places of natural beauty on Earth. Among regions in the temperate zone, the Boreal Forest is...

Ontario: stop targeting species at risk!

Blog entry by Catharine Grant, Forest Campaigner | January 18, 2013 1 comment

Last summer the Ontario government tried to sneak through changes to several environmental laws in its omnibus budget bill. One of the changes it attempted to make was an overhaul of the Endangered Species Act. The proposed changes...

Quebec’s Boreal Forest: Unions, Government and Greenpeace talk solutions

Blog entry by Nicolas Mainville, Forest Campaigner | January 17, 2013

During a meeting held yesterday in Quebec, Unions representing  Resolute Forest Products  (Resolute) workers, the Ministers of both the Environment and Natural Resources and Greenpeace agreed to work jointly towards the protection of...

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