Global Importance of Canada's Boreal Forest

A report from the Pew Environmental Group, published in March 2011, contains some interesting findings, as well as implications for us at the Muskoka Roastery. There are 5 mainly intact boreal forest regions on earth and Canada’s is the largest, accounting for 54% of the total. Our boreal forest contains 25% of the world’s wetlands, and more surface water than any other continental landscape.

The tropical rainforest gets much more publicity, but Canada’s boreal region also has a huge impact on the global climate. The wetlands store more than 25 years worth of man-made carbon emissions and the fresh water flowing from boreal rivers to the Arctic is critical to the formation of sea ice, which cools the atmosphere. Protecting our boreal forest is increasingly viewed as a global conservation priority.

Muskoka is technically in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest. The boreal forest starts to transition just north of North Bay and becomes the full-fledged boreal forest north of Kirkland Lake. That doesn’t change our belief that protection measures here in Muskoka are vitally important. The Boreal Framework calls for protecting a minimum of 50 percent of the region’s land and waters, and applying strict sustainable development rules on the remainder.

The Muskoka Roastery’s Sustain program is targeted at just this type of initiative and we will be exploring ways to support conservation efforts here in Muskoka.

Posted on 4 June 2011

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