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

 

Saving Canada’s Boreal Forest

Feature story | November 6, 2011 at 8:50

Greenpeace today joined eight other environmental groups and forest companies in the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) to announce the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), an historic pact that will lead to large-scale protection...

Burning trees for energy puts Canadian forests and climate at risk: Greenpeace

Feature story | November 2, 2011 at 10:10

Greenpeace released a science-based report today that highlights the dangers of the large-scale use of wood and tree harvesting for heating, electricity generation or liquid biofuels. The report, entitled ‘Fuelling a Biomess’, argues that burning...

Short film : Crees and Greenpeace urge minister to save ancestral Broadback Valley Forest

Feature story | October 27, 2011 at 18:23

« What is South of our land has been entirely clearcut or fragmented. The Broadback Valley is all that we have left and we need to protect it immediately» Paul Gull, Chief of Waswanipi Cree Nation during the launch of the film in Quebec city...

Federal recovery strategy for woodland caribou gets a failing grade

Blog entry by cgrant | October 17, 2011

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has released a detailed analysis of the federal government’s recovery strategy for woodland caribou. Recovery strategies must be compiled for all species listed under the Species-at-Risk...

Northern Ontario forest spotlighted in international report on industry-driven...

Feature story | October 17, 2011 at 8:18

A coalition of leading environmental and social NGOs released an investigative report today exposing unsustainable logging operations certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) in Ontario’s Kenogami Forest.

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