Disappearance of Forests of Canada

March 28, 2023, 8:46 a.m.

Canada’s boreal forest, which holds some of the world’s last large stretches of remaining primary forest, plays a crucial role in achieving a sustainable, livable future. The Canadian boreal is both a biodiversity hotspot and the world’s most carbon-dense terrestrial ecosystem, storing twice as much carbon per hectare as tropical forests, making it an essential ally in the fight against climate change. As the steward of this forest, Canada has both a tremendous responsibility and an opportunity to lead on effective, ambitious natural climate solutions that protect the boreal. Despite the boreal’s global importance, it is facing considerable threats from unsustainable industrial logging. The logging industry continues to clearcut more than 1,100,000 hectares of the boreal each year—about thirteen NHL hockey rinks every minute —much of this in irreplaceable primary forests. This conversion of primary forests into second-growth forests, which store less carbon, is transferring large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, driving significant climate impacts.

Logging has been hauling it out faster than Canada's forests — weakened by decades of industrial forestry and rising climate impacts — can regrow. That imbalance is pouring billions of tonnes of CO2 onto our metastasizing climate crisis. It’s a rising threat of lifeless.

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