We monitor the state of Canada’s forests to provide quality information on development activity and environmental impacts.
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(2016-07-05) Global Forest Watch Canada has just released its newest iteration of Canada’s intact forest landscapes layer, noting a significant decrease in their area. Intact forest landscapes are becoming increasingly rare at the global level. They are also growing in importance as reference points for understanding managed forest landscapes and designing management schemes that preserve or restore significant aspects of the natural forest landscape.
(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 km2 of 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.
(2012-01-18) Global Forest Watch Canada publishes a new instalment in a series on the environmental impacts of Canada’s major energy sectors and calls for a Canada energy strategy that includes good environmental information
(2010-12-10) Global Forest Watch Canada compiles and summarizes several change analysis projects, which examine an average 11-year period (1990–2001). These projects combine to cover 2.9 million square kilometres throughout Canada’s forest landscapes. The maps and data GFWC are releasing highlight that although Canada contains globally significant intact boreal and temperate forest landscapes, the forest frontier is undergoing rapid and recent massive human-caused transformations. These transformations are mainly a result of industrial activities. Thus, Canada has both opportunities and challenges in terms of sustainably managing its remaining forest resource for a range of resource consumption and ecological values.
(2010-11-26) This study mapped and analyzed Intact Forest Landscapes of Nova Scotia greater than 500 ha and highlighted opportunities that exist for conservation planning. Significant areas of Intact Forest Landscapes in Nova Scotia remain. The areas with the largest loss of Intact Forest Landscape blocks greater than 1,000 ha are Shelburne and Halifax counties. The vast majority of Intact Forest Landscape blocks larger than 500 ha remain on crown land.
(2010-09-13) This Global Forest Watch Canada study presents the most detailed national assessment ever undertaken, looking at a wider range of human disturbances and identifying intact forest landscapes using medium-resolution satellite imagery as well as some medium-resolution Landsat data and ground and aerial photography verification. An intact forest landscape as a contiguous mosaic of natural ecosystems in a forest ecozone, essentially undisturbed by human influence, including both treed and naturally treeless area.
(2010-09-13) This report summarizes Global Forest Watch Canada’s anthropogenic change work since 2006. These studies were conducted across Canada and resulted in a series of reports for Québec, Ontario, Saskatchewan/Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Northwest Territories. The reports focused on major ecosystem types, such as terrestrial ecozones, watersheds, inland temperate rainforests, Rocky Mountain Foothills, and Greenbelt surrounding Toronto.
(2008-07-02) The Ontario Greenbelt presents both opportunities and challenges for managing growth and retaining natural areas and key agricultural production lands. This report contributed to a larger project (by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Greenbelt foundation) around analyzing key ecosystem values in Ontario's Greenbelt.
(2006-03-22) A report, maps, and photos regarding the most comprehensive survey to date of Canada's remaining wild forest fragments. Canada's Forest Landscape Fragments: A First Approximation reveals that Canada's southern biodiversity-rich boreal and temperate forests—those forest areas primarily under concessions to forest and oil and gas companies—have been largely fragmented by industrial development.