Canada’s globally significant Boreal Forest provides a wealth of ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits. Yet the most biologically diverse areas in the Boreal Forest are allocated to forestry, and most of these areas are logged or roaded. The areas that remain untouched are rare and under increasing threat. These are “Endangered Forests.” The fate of threatened wildlife species, such as woodland caribou, as well as other ecological values like biodiversity, air and water quality and carbon storage rest in the balance.
Situation critical: Canada’s “Endangered Forests”
Canada, home to nearly a quarter of the world’s remaining intact forests, is rapidly losing its pristine ecosystems to development and logging. In 2012, Greenpeace commissioned Global Forest Watch Canada to produce an analysis of the last large intact regions of Canada’s Boreal Forest that are open to logging development.
Five “Endangered Forest” areas were identified as being under severe threat.
Click on the map to get to know each one of these spectacular forests.
Pathway to solutions
Greenpeace’s vision for the Boreal Forest is for people, communities, industry and forest to work in harmony instead of in competition. With only 10.7 per cent of Canadian forest lands allocated to the forest sector permanently protected under government legislation, we believe that a large network of protected areas, which includes these “Endangered Forests,” is vital to preserve the health of the Boreal Forest. Greenpeace believes in practical solutions and is working to create these lasting solutions by collaborating with government, customers and logging companies who are ready to embrace on-the-ground change in a meaningful timeframe.
Learn more about how Greenpeace plans to work with companies by reading Boreal Alarm: A wake up call for action in Canada’s Endangered Forests.
Many large companies, such as Rona, Kimberly-Clark, and Office Depot, have already adopted policies that restrict the purchase of products from "Endangered and High Conservation Value Forests." Greenpeace is calling on all stakeholders and decision-makers, including large corporate customers, logging companies and provincial governments, to stop logging in these areas until proper conservation plans are in place.
Around the world, Greenpeace has a proven track record for successful collaboration with companies based upon strong work plans and respect for Indigenous people’s rights and title. Ongoing collaborations with companies in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, Brazil’s Amazon and Indonesia have all reduced the threat to forests globally.
Destructive logging in the Montagnes Blanches.
Resolute Forest Products (formerly AbitibiBowater) is one of the largest logging companies in Canada. Operating in Ontario and Quebec, Resolute manages some of the most ecologically valuable and vulnerable areas left in the Boreal Forest. Resolute is responsible for logging in three of the “Endangered Forest” areas. Learn more about how Resolute is destroying critical caribou habitat and “Endangered Forests.”.
Actions for you, customers, companies and governments
To support the protection of these “Endangered Forests” concerned Canadians should:
- Contact the Quebec government to request the immediate adoption of a large protected area of at least 13,000 km2 in the Broadback Valley;
- Check supply chains to identify products from “Endangered Forest” areas outlined in this report and restrict purchases from these areas; and
- Request that suppliers immediately suspend logging in “Endangered Forest” areas and engage in conservation planning to establish protected areas.
To support and implement solutions, governments and logging companies must act:
- The Quebec government must legally protect the Broadback Valley “Endangered Forest” area, consistent with the Cree First Nation’s land use plan;
- As a first step, logging companies need to suspend operations in identified High Conservation Value areas in the Boreal Forest, prioritizing the “Endangered Forest” areas in this report; and
- Conservation planning for each of the “Endangered Forest” areas must be fast-tracked by companies in collaboration with Greenpeace and others, consistent with First Nations’ rights and interests.