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(2014-09-08) Canoeing almost 800 km through the heart of Canada’s pristine boreal forest is a jaw-dropping, grueling, exhilarating adventure. For me, now into my 60s, it was “epic” to go for almost four weeks this past summer from Wollaston Lake in northeastern Saskatchewan through a series of lakes and 43 portages into northwestern Manitoba, and back.
I had personal goals for my expedition. I wanted to test myself, both mentally and physically. I wanted time to think where there were no distractions from my normal, overly-busy life. Mostly, though, I wanted to experience pure, raw, humbling nature in the boreal forest day after day, week after week. I got everything I wanted - and more.
(2014-09-03) Global Forest Watch Canada conducted a made-in-Alberta approach to the mapping and analysis of the conservation values of the boreal region of northern Alberta, an area comprising more than 2/3 of Alberta. We examined natural landscape features, wildlife and human disturbances and ranked the condition, diversity, ecological function and special features of the entire study area. The 128-page downloadable report, authored by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and GFWC, details the methods and results, with a host of maps.
(2014-07-24) Global Forest Watch Canada conducted a field validation exercise to test the accuracy of the “forest gain” component of the new global dataset of forest change (High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change; see http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6160/850) for two sites in a forested region of southwestern Alberta, Canada, known regionally as the Eastern Slopes.
(2014-07-15) "Canada’s boreal forest is one of Earth’s major ecological treasures. Yet the region’s forests are under threat from logging, hydrodams and mining. Satellite data reveals a major new threat to Canada’s boreal forests—tar sands development." Read the GFW blog post here.
(2014-06-26) New Global Forest Watch satellite data reveals extensive forest loss in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes during the period 2000-2012. 6.8% of the forests in the Eastern Slopes were lost between 2000 and 2013 due to industrialization. This amount of loss is more than double that of the average throughout Canada’s forests and is also significantly greater than in Alberta’s tar sands region.
(10-04-2014) "By incorporating land tenure information, Global Forest Watch will be among the first global tools that enable stakeholders to better understand who to hold accountable for forest loss, and who to recognize and reward for forest protection. However, collecting geospatial data on local land rights is challenging for several reasons." Read the GFW blog post here.
(21-03-2014) The World Resources Institute’s new Global Forest Watch initiative identifies 5 overlooked deforestation hotspots, one which is Canada's Tar Sands region. It includes an animation sequence of a portion of the tar sands region that shows forest loss annually from 2000 to 2012. The other forest global hotspots are in Paraguay, Malaysia, Ivory Coast, and the Atlanta suburbs in the United States. Click here to read the blog post.
(2014-02-27) “Concessions show the locations where companies consider resources to have an economic value. Now we have a national portrait of where these interests are across Canada,” said Ryan Cheng, lead author of the bulletin. “Granting industrial concessions can result in conflicting land uses when there are different visions for a landscape.”
(2014-02-27) Global Forest Watch Canada's new look at industrial concessions across Canada, including national datasets, maps and analyses on their distribution and extent. This bulletin looks at the coverage of industrial concessions across multiple jurisdictions, and compares their extent with protected areas and the area of anthropogenic disturbance.
(2014-02-27) Industrial concessions are agreements between companies and governments that allow for the exploration and/or exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources. They are an important indicator of the present geographic extent of industrial interest and potential resource development on the Canadian landscape.