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

 

Muddying the debate: caribou "conservation" schemes and the ethical oil deception

Blog entry by rto | May 29, 2012

Evidence of the Alberta Government’s partiality to the interests of industrial expansion can be seen  in its caribou conservation policy, which has been conducted at the expense of both wildlife and even the interests of its citizens.

Hiding endangered species in your budget?

Blog entry by Stephanie Goodwin | April 24, 2012

Today, the Toronto Star published an editorial by prominent Canadian lawyer Clayton Ruby about the Ontario Government's efforts to undermine its Endangered Species Act and hide it in their budget bill.  Once you've read Clayton's...

Free, prior and informed consent for certainty, prosperity.

Blog entry by Shane Moffatt | April 13, 2012

A lot of effort has been made, by Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver and others , to portray the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for industrial development in traditional Indigenous territories as somehow...

Federal government taken to court AGAIN over refusal to protect caribou

Blog entry by Catharine Grant, Forest Campaigner | February 23, 2012

Alberta conservation groups and First Nations filed a court order today to force Environment Minister Peter Kent to issue an emergency order to protect imperilled woodland caribou herds in Alberta. This is the second time the Minister...

Federal government refuses to protect caribou

Blog entry by Catharine Grant, Forest Campaigner | January 27, 2012

Environment Minister Peter Kent is still refusing to issue an emergency order to protect Alberta’s woodland caribou, despite a court order last July asking him to in light of scientific evidence. Kent has suggested that the existing...

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