Quebec has announced five new provincial parks and protection for 50 percent of lands above the 49th parallel from mining, hydroelectric and forestry development. Quebec has followed Ontario's lead, which announced similar protections of its north in July.
Premier Jean Charest's commitment demonstrates a balance between conservation and economic development. The announcement ensures the protection of continuous tracks of land large enough to support such species as the caribou.
Other provinces may be following suit. A new voluntary team of scientists called the International Boreal Conservation Science Panel is working to protect Canada's boreal forest. The panel hopes Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta will follow Quebec and Ontario's example.
The boreal forest stretches from Newfoundland to Alaska and is essential in the fight against climate change. Acting as a carbon sink, the area now holds 186 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to 27 years worth of global carbon emissions. It also holds massive reserves of freshwater and healthy populations of wildlife in fully functioning ecosystems.
View November 16, 2008 Canada.com article
View November 21, 2008 First Perspective article
View November 21, 2008 Canadian Press article
View November 25, 2008 World Changing article
View November 19, 2008 Reuters article
Source: Canada.com, First Perspective National Aboriginal News, The Canadian Press, Canadian Boreal Initiative, World Changing