The Canadian forest is threatened by deforestation. For that reason, it is known as the Amazon of the North.
Canada has 347 million hectares (Mha) of forest1. The definition of deforestation is the clearing of forests by humans to change the land-use2.
The Canadian boreal’s importance to the global climate
77% of Canada’s forests are the boreal. It spans from the east of the country, all the way to the west in Yukon1. Moreover, boreal forests are also found in parts of Russia and Alaska.
The Canadian Boreal holds 12% of the world’s carbon stores in its plants and soils3. There is a global duty to keep this biome unharmed to keep a safe climate. Carbon dioxide fuels the climate crisis. Trees are a carbon sink and cutting down trees releases the carbon.
What are ‘logging scars’ in the boreal?
‘Logging scars’ in the boreal are the impacts of cutting down trees over time on the land, according to a study from the Wildlands League4. When a large area of trees is cut down, it is called clear-cut logging. In other words, this creates a less productive forest and a surplus of waste. As a result, the waste can block natural drainage systems.
Furthermore, poor forest practice can cease forest renewal. This harms the global carbon balance. As an example, the province of Ontario displays a lack of forestry management. This is because it is not essential to follow the guidance. Hence, Ontario’s deforestation rate is 7 times more than the country’s average rate5. However, the use of biotechnology can boost the amount of waste that is used6. Therefore, this can have a positive effect on the climate.
Global companies and Canadian deforestation
Global companies rely on the boreal to make their products. An example of this is Procter & Gamble. This is because the northern bleached softwood kraft pulp found in the boreal is great for making virgin pulp tissue7. Above all else, clear-cut logging is used. NGO’s, such as ‘Stand.earth’ expect these companies to start to source greener alternatives. For instance, using recycled tissue.
What is the Canadian government doing to reduce the global effect of Canadian deforestation?
The Canadian government has given CAD $175 million to fund conservation8. This will govern forested areas. In order to create good forestry practices, locals can work with the government to promote rights for the locals. Studies show that this can improve the health of the forest. In order to do this, there must be control of the forests for years to come.
- Natural Resources Canada, (2020). How much forest does Canada have?
- Pimm, M.L (2020). Deforestation, Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc.
- Axelrod, J (2018). Pandora’s box: Clear cutting in Canadian boreal unleashes millions of tons of previously uncounted carbon dioxide emissions, p.5.
- Wildlands league (2019). Boreal logging scars.
- Swift, A (2019). Study shows boreal deforestation is higher than reported, NRDC.
- Wetzel, S (2006). Bioproducts from Canada’s forests, New partnerships in the Bioeconomy.
- Skene, J (2019). The issue with tissue: How Americans are flushing forests down the toilet, NRDC.
- Skene, J (2019). Canada Invests in the Future of Intact Boreal Forests, NRDC.
- Boreal Songbird Initiative. Largest intact forest.