1. Growing Forest Protection

Tursujuq National Park, Quebec
Credit: Josée Brunelle, KRG

Canada is rapidly becoming a world leader in advancing balanced protection of its boreal forest region and other lands. As of 2013, there are now 708,000 km² (71 million hectares) of protected lands in the boreal forest region of Canada and at least 460,000 km² (46 million hectares) of area certified or in process of achieving certification as sustainably managed forests through the Forest Stewardship Council.

In addition, Ontario has committed to protecting at least 220,000 km² (22 million hectares) of its northern lands and began providing support to First Nations communities for developing community-led land-use plans in order to move closer to implementation of this commitment. Quebec has embarked on an ambitious plan to potentially protect a world-leading 590,000 km² (59 million hectares) of its northern lands, while the communities of the Grand Council of the Crees, the Inuit of Nunavik, the Innu Nation, and the Naskapi are in leadership roles in developing land-use plans including land conservation components. For example, the 26,000-km² (2.6 million-hectare) Tursujuq National Park was established under the leadership of local Cree and Inuit communities.

In western Ontario and eastern Manitoba, provincial governments partnered with five Aboriginal communities in a bid for World Heritage Site designation for the area called Pimachiowin Aki (“Land That Gives Life”) and over 29,000 km² (2.9 million hectares) of the lands became permanently protected by 2013. Successes in finalizing interim and proposed protected areas across Canada’s boreal forest will be closely watched in 2014.



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