Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes Updated to 2013 (Bulletin)

(2016-07-05) Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) are the last remaining areas of forest and non-forest ecosystems that are at least 500 km2 in size and untouched by roads or other significant human activity. Canada, together with Russia and Brazil, contain 65% of all the world’s IFLs. But these pristine forests are becoming increasingly disturbed, and research shows that even without deforestation this degradation and fragmentation is enough to threaten biodiversity around the world. Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) has recently updated its IFL data to 2013, using the best available data, including Landsat satellite imagery and Environment Canada disturbance data.

GFWC found that:

  • Almost 5% (216,199 km2) of Canada’s IFLs were degraded or fragmented by human activity between 2000 and 2013. IFLs covered 4.5 million km2 of Canada in 2000 compared to 4.3 million km2 in 2013.
  • Four provinces—Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia—accounted for 71% of the 216,199 kmof human disturbances. 
  • 11.7% (just over 500,000 km2) of IFLs were located within forestry tenures as of 2013.
  • 25.5% of Canada’s forestry tenures were covered by IFLs in 2013.
  • 17.5% (750,851 km2) of 2013 IFLs were located within interim and permanent protected areas. 

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Gorillas in the Rainforests of Central Africa

(2016-05-31) At GFWC, we focus on Canadian forests. But before being E.D. of GFWC, I spent many years working in tropical rainforests as well. During 2004, I had the privilege to see western lowland gorillas in their natural habitat. The sad death of Harambe, the western lowland gorilla, took me back to the year of my PhD research in Cameroon (2003-2004), where I looked at logging activities in the lowland rainforests of Central Africa,specifically in Cameroon. While there, I took four days and went "on holiday" to the Dzanga-Sangha Reserve in the Central African Republic, where I tracked gorillas, watched forest elephants, and went on a hunt with the baka. A truly privileged time in my life.  See the short recollection and video on the international Global Forest Watch Stories site and the longer video that is included here. -Wynet

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Summer 2016 Job Postings

(2016-05-31) Global Forest Watch Canada is seeking to fill two summer GIS Developer Technician positions at our Ottawa office for a period of eight weeks beginning mid-June. Job description and details are available here. Funding for these positions is through the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

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Exciting Plans for GFWC in 2016

(2016-02-26) My first year as Executive Director of Global Forest Watch Canada (GWFC) was a very busy and exhilarating year (it was so busy that I am only writing this in month 14). Taking over an organisation requires lots of learning, as I discovered throughout the course of 2015, and it can be exhausting too. After taking time to get to know the organization, its strengths and limitations, I have begun to make many changes, including moving our office to Ottawa. There are many more changes ahead in 2016 as we must move with the times and the advent of new technologies and big data.  

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Oil and gas fragmentation in Northwest Saskatchewan (VIDEO & PHOTOS)

(2016-01-21) In October 2015, GFWC staff did some field work in northeastern AB and northwest SK to verify our mapping work. The aerial video and photos posted here show oil and gas fragmentation in former intact forest landscapes.  

 

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GFWC has moved!

(2016-01-04) GFWC's office is now located in Ottawa! Please see the new info on our Contact Us page and update your address book accordingly.  

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Recent burned area in the Boreal Forest of Saskatchewan (VIDEO & PHOTO)

(2015-12-15) During the summer of 2015, there were 716 forest fires in Saskatchewan, compared to a 10 year average of 363 (according to the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System). These fires burned 1.755 million hectares, compared to a 10 year average of 471,000 hectares. 
 
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Intact Forest Landscapes in Newfoundland

(2015-12-13) During July and August 2015, Global Forest Watch Canada’s Executive Director, Wynet Smith, travelled around the island of Newfoundland, taking in the amazing land and meeting friendly people, while undertaking some site visits to areas Global Forest Watch Canada had mapped. We already submitted one story on the international GFW site on intact forest landscapes in south central Newfoundland. This story provides an overview of the entire island.

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Navigation Protection Act Map

(2015-12-01) As part of its 15th anniversary, Global Forest Watch Canada (GFWC) is in the process of preparing updated maps on development in Canada’s forests and forested watersheds. Given on-going concerns about changes to environmental legislation in Canada over the past few years, we decided to make a map that identifies the specific water bodies (oceans, lakes and bays, and rivers) listed in the “Schedule of Navigable Waters” under the Navigation Protection Act.[1]

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GFWC’s Executive Director Wynet Smith to participate in Homeward Bound, an expedition to unite Women in Science

(20-10-2015) Homeward Bound is a state-of-the-art leadership and strategic program for women in science from around the globe, a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Antarctica, and a new future for our planet. It is the start of a 10-year outreach initiative to build a 1,000-strong global collaboration of women in science, who have had the same experience at sea together, focusing on the leadership and planning required to contribute to the recognition of our planet as home.

Global Forest Watch Canada’s (GFWC’s) Executive Director, Wynet Smith, is one of 78 remarkable female leaders in science from around the world who will together work on a range of projects throughout 2016, culminating in the 20 day trip to Antarctica to cement the ideas into real time actionable plans. Twelve people in all will deliver program content to change the lives of the women on board the expedition.

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