Nature Canada Endorses Boreal Forest Conservation Framework
May 12, 2006 - Nature Canada has endorsed the work of a made-in-Canada effort to balance conservation and development in Canada's boreal region by joining the Leadership Council of the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework.
Launched in 2003 by an alliance of conservation groups, First Nations, leading Canadian companies, and headed by the Canadian Boreal Initiative, the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework’s conservation vision is to sustain the ecological and cultural integrity of the Canadian boreal forest region, in perpetuity. Members of the Leadership Council are committed to the national vision and agree to take action in their spheres of activity.
"Countless birds, animals, and people depend on the boreal region," says Julie Gelfand, President of Nature Canada. "We are thrilled to be part of a group that is dedicated to conserving this massive stretch of land – an area that is critically important to biodiversity as we know it."
Inspired by the more than 270 bird species that migrate long distances each spring to the boreal region to nest and raise their young, the Framework is striving for the establishment of a network of large interconnected protected areas covering about half of the country’s boreal region, as articulated in the national vision. This includes the boreal forest, the Aspen Parkland and the Taiga, and the use of leading-edge sustainable development practices in remaining areas.
"Areas such as the Mackenzie Valley are already under pressure from developers," says Gelfand. "It will be our ability to plan in advance of industrial interest and other developments that will help us protect the boreal region."
Home to some of the world's most abundant bird populations, Canada's boreal region contains one-quarter of the world's remaining original forests. The largest intact forest ecosystem left on Earth, Canada's boreal is home to a rich array of wildlife including migratory songbirds, waterfowl, bears, wolves and some of the world's largest woodland caribou herds. The boreal region's natural wealth sustains many of Canada's aboriginal communities, who have lived in harmony with the boreal for thousands of years. It also supports thousands of jobs and contributes billions to the Canadian economy.
Over the coming months, the CBI will be working with Council members to expand Framework endorsement in a variety of sectors, generate on-the-ground examples of the Framework principles in action, and create opportunities for governments to become engaged and active participants. The CBI has also commissioned science-based research