What's New at Global Forest Watch Canada?


Forests in British Columbia

Global Forest Watch: Dynamic New Platform to Protect Forests Worldwide


Read the Press Release
View the Map of Forest Loss and Intact Forest Landscapes

20-February-2014

Today the World Resources Institute (WRI), Google, and a group of more than 40 partners, including Global Forest Watch Canada, launched Global Forest Watch (GFW), a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites the latest satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests.


Suncor Upgrader near Fort McMurray

5 Overlooked Deforestation Hotspots:
Boreal Forests Are Cleared for Tar Sands Development

21-March-2014

The World Resources Institute’s new Global Forest Watch initiative posted alerts of the world’s 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.

Read the Blog Post


Global Forest Watch Canada 2014

2014 Releases

Coal Mine in Alberta Canada’s Industrial Concessions: A Spatial Analysis

Read the Press Release
Download the Bulletin
Download the Maps and Datasets
27-February-2014
Global Forest Watch Canada releases a 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.

CNRL Primrose Well Sites CNRL's Persistent 2013-2014 Bitumen Releases near Cold Lake, Alberta: Facts, Unanswered Questions, and Implications

Read the Press Release
Download the Final Report
06-February-2014
Dr. Kevin Timoney (Treeline Ecological Research) and Peter Lee (Global Forest Watch Canada) provide an independent investigation of ongoing bitumen releases at Canadian Natural Resources Limited Primrose operations near Cold Lake, Alberta. They find that there are significant problems related to Canadian Natural Resources Limited and the Alberta Energy Regulator failing to inform the public and failing to adequately address operational problems.

human access Human Access of Canada’s Landscapes

Read the Press Release
Download the Bulletin
Download the GIS Data
View the Map
9-January-2014
Industrial and other human activity is fracturing Canada’s southern and western landscapes, according to a new dataset and bulletin by Global Forest Watch Canada. Summary information is provided for the amount of human access in each of Canada’s 13 jurisdictions and 15 ecozones.

Peter Lee at TEDxNairobi Global Forest Watch: Conserving Assets, Creating Legacies
(Peter Lee at TEDxNairobi)

November-2013

GFWC's Executive Director talks about the Global Forest Watch (GFW) network: a partnership that aims to provide the most current, reliable, and actionable information about what is happening in forests worldwide. GFW unites satellite technology and human networks to show where and how forests are changing, who is using them, and how we can sustain them for future generations.

View Peter's TEDx Talk here


International Year of Forests

2013 Releases

Peace River Region Passages from the Peace
Community Reflections on BC's Changing Peace Region

Read the Press Release
Download the Report
9-December-2013
Industrial activity is fracturing Northeastern B.C. on a scale unparalleled in Canada, according to a new report by Global Forest Watch Canada and the David Suzuki Foundation. The report gives voice to concerns raised by First Nations and farming communities about the alarming pace of industrial development in the Peace Region.

Intact Forest Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes: Partial Update to 2010 and Three Overviews (Boreal Population of Woodland Caribou, Alberta's Eastern Slopes and Alberta's Oil Sands Region)

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Download the Bulletin
Download the GIS Data
                        - 2010 Update Study Area Boundary
                        - circa 2010 Updated IFLs
                        - circa 2001 Canada-wide IFLs (previously published)
                        - circa 2001 IFLs with circa 2010 IFLs within updated                           study area only.
5-December-2013
This revision to Global Forest Watch Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes dataset updates the extent of IFLs in Alberta forest ecozones and Canada's woodland caribou boreal population herd ranges to circa 2010. This bulletin provides three overviews, including: 1) the extent of decline of intact forest landscapes within Canada's woodland caribou boreal population herd ranges; 2) the major conservation opportunities remaining in Alberta's Eastern Slopes region; 3) the decline of intact forest landscapes within Alberta's oil sands.

Oilsands from the Air Environmental Incidents in Northeastern Alberta's Bitumen Sands Region, 1996-2012

Read the Press Release
Download the Report
Download the Data: Environmental Incidents Records (Excel)
23-July-2013
This new study, authored by Dr. Kevin Timoney and Peter Lee, found that environmental violations in Alberta's bitumen sands region are frequent, enforcement is rare, record keeping is dysfunctional, and there is a chronic failure to disclose important environmental incident information to the public. Comments are welcome here.

Nova Scotia's Natural Capital The Inclusive Wealth of Nova Scotia's Protected Areas: A Preliminary Estimate of Nature's Benefits

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Download the Report
28-June-2013
Nova Scotia's existing and proposed protected areas provide natural benefits in the order of $1.3 to $4.2 billion a year, according to a study released today by Global Forest Watch Canada. The report examines the extent of natural capital - the forest, lake, river, wetland and barren ecosystems - and for the first time estimates economic values for the natural benefits these ecosystems provide.

Nova Scotia's Proposed Protected Areas Nova Scotia's Proposed Protected Areas: How well do they capture large intact forest landscapes?

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Download the Bulletin
1-May-2013
This bulletin was prepared by Global Forest Watch Canada in order to assess the amount of intact forest landscapes captured in the proposed protected areas announced by Nova Scotia's Department of Environment in February 2013. The analysis shows that the proposed protected areas would add 124,000 hectares of additional large intact forests to Nova Scotia's system of protected areas and that there are additional opportunities for protecting the critically-endangered intact Acadian forests.

International Year of Sustainable Energy

2012 Releases: International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Peace region land use Atlas of land cover, industrial land uses and industrial-caused land change in the Peace Region of British Columbia
Download PDF Report:
High res (38.5MB) Low res (8.3MB)

13-December-2012
Oil and gas development, logging, mines, large dams and other industrial infrastructure are having an alarming impact on natural areas and wildlife habitat in the booming Peace Region of northeastern British Columbia; a new science study released today shows. Global Forest Watch Canada's new report also maps industrial changes over the last 38 years from satellite imagery.

Pimachiowin Aki Pimachiowin Aki: A Potential World Heritage Site

Download the Report:
The Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site Planning Area: Global and Canada Boreal/Taiga Perspectives Regarding Key Ecological Criteria
17-July-2012
The nomination for the magnificent Pimachiowin Aki boreal region of Manitoba and Ontario was submitted January 18, 2012 as a candidate UNESCO World Heritage Site. Extending from the East Side of Lake Winnipeg across the border into Ontario, the Pimachiowin Aki nominated area embraces the homelands of Bloodvein River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Pikangikum and Poplar River First Nations and has sustained their diverse cultures for countless generations. Global Forest Watch Canada prepared one of the background studies that went into preparing the nomination.

Hydropower developments Hydropower Developments in Canada

Read the Press Release (English | French)

Download the Reports:
Report 1. Number, Size and Jurisdictional and Ecological Distribution
Report 2. GHGs, Energy Outputs and Review of Environmental Impacts


Download the GIS data - (FGDB 27.5 MB | SHP 41.6 MB)

18-January-2012
Global Forest Watch Canada released two reports and a geospatial dataset on Hydropower Developments in Canada. The reports focus on the distribution and environmental impacts of hydropower developments, especially their greenhouse gas emission impacts. These reports are part of a series of studies to address the geographic distribution and key environmental impacts, especially greenhouse gas emissions, of Canada's energy sectors.

Woodland Caribou Canada's woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival

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Download the Bulletin
10-January-2012
This bulletin contains evidence of the extent to which industrial developments are threatening woodland caribou (boreal population) in Canada's jurisdictions, especially in Alberta's oil sands region. This bulletin is part of a series by Global Forest Watch Canada to address the geographic distribution and key environmental impacts of Canada's energy sectors.

International Year of Forests

2011 Releases: International Year of Forests

FPAC tenures Forest Tenures of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement: A Draft Spatial Dataset

Download the Draft Dataset (ESRI shapefile)
View the Map
22-December-2011
This dataset - Forest Products Association of Canada Tenures Associated with the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) - was created because no other "official" dataset was readily available at the time of its creation. It is intended that this dataset will help support the mapping and spatial analysis needs of the CBFA's planning process. Please send comments on any errors/ommissions to info@globalforestwatch.ca

Oil sands mining Shell Canada's environmental study for its Jackpine Mine expansion in Alberta's bitumen sands region is seriously deficient

Download the Submission to the Joint Review Panel of Shell Jackpine Mine Expansion Project
6-December-2011
Documents newly filed to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition say Shell Canada's environmental study of its proposed Jackpine Mine expansion is seriously deficient as it underestimates industrial impacts on the landscape by a factor of 12. The documents were prepared using maps and analysis by Global Forest watch Canada.

Woodland Caribou Dramatic evidence presented at conference in New Zealand on increasing rates of logging and road building in sensitive caribou habitat in Québec, Canada
Read the Press Release
Download the Report Summary
Download the Conference Poster (24" x 48")
5-December-2011
At the International Society of Conservation Biology Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, representatives from the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) in Québec Canada presented on December 5 2011, dramatic scientific evidence produced by Global Forest Watch Canada of increasing rates of logging and road building in sensitive caribou habitat in Québec. At the current increasing rate of industrial disturbances in combination with forest fires, the prospect of these caribou supporting self-sustaining local populations in the near future appears to be declining rapidly.

Woodland Caribou Mapping Disturbances and Restoration-Protection Opportunities for Woodland Caribou within the James Bay Region of Northern Québec:
Part 2. Mapping Restoration and Protection Opportunities
Download the Report (English | French)
5-December-2011
According to a recent previous report by Global Forest Watch Canada, critical woodland caribou habitat in the James Bay region of northern Québec is being rapidly impacted by roads and logging. We found that at the current increasing rate of industrial disturbances in combination with forest fires, the prospect of these caribou supporting self-sustaining local populations in the near future appears to be declining rapidly. This new report maps restoration-protection opportunities for these woodland caribou in the territory of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee).

LARP Conservation-types Conservation-type areas in the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, Alberta:
Implications for whooping crane and woodland caribou

Read the Press Release
Download the Report
22-September-2011
The Alberta Government's recently announced Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan 2011-2021 allocates much more area to oil sands leases than to conservation areas for whooping cranes and woodland caribou, according to a report issued today by Global Forest Watch Canada.

Raven Head CWA Nova Scotia's Proposed Chignecto Wilderness Areas: Are They Capturing Intact Forest Landscapes?

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Download the Bulletin
28-July-2011
Global Forest Watch Canada provides comments on the Nova Scotia government's proposed boundaries for the Kelley River and Raven Head Candidate Wilderness Areas in the Chignecto region. We found that the Chignecto region is the only area in the province with more than 20,000 ha of intact forest landscapes not having a core protected area. The two candidate wilderness areas protect a significant portion of the intact forest landscapes in the Chignecto area, but additional adjacent intact forest landscapes still remain unprotected, including a substantial amount on crown land.

Woodland Caribou Mapping Disturbances and Restoration-Protection Opportunities for Woodland Caribou within the James Bay Region of Northern Québec:
Part 1. Mapping Disturbances
Read the Press Release (English | French)
Download the Report (English | French)
Download Appendix B (Process documentation)
14-July-2011
According to new research by Global Forest Watch Canada, critical woodland caribou habitat in the James Bay region of northern Québec is being rapidly impacted by roads and logging. We conducted this study because the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) expressed concerns about the potential devastating effects of proposed forestry road construction and other industrial developments on woodland caribou within their traditional territory. At the current increasing rate of industrial disturbances in combination with forest fires, the prospect of these caribou supporting self-sustaining local populations in the near future appears to be declining rapidly.

Protected Areas Migration of whooping cranes (Grus americana) through Alberta's bitumen sands region

Download the Bulletin
Read the Press release
11-July-2011
This report maps historical records of whooping crane flight paths and landing points in relation to Alberta's bitumen (oil) sands region. Whooping cranes have regularly flown over and landed within Alberta's oil sands region. Their migration route intersects with areas leased to and developed by oil sands companies, including the surface mineable area and its associated facilities, mine pits and tailings ponds. Several factors present in the oil sands region, including exposure to tailings ponds, poses a threat to the survival and recovery of the Canadian wild whooping crane population.

Protected Areas Canada's Terrestrial Protected Areas Status Report 2010: Number, Area and "Naturalness"
Download the Full Report
Download the Report at a Glance
Read the press release (English | French)
29-June-2011
Global Forest Watch Canada presents the final version of our report: Canada's Terrestrial Protected Areas Status Report 2010: Number, Area and Naturalness. The study found that Canada has set aside only 8.5 percent (84.5 million hectares) of its land mass in permanent protected areas. This is more than four percent lower than the global average of 12.9 percent and more than six percent lower than the United States at 14.8 percent. The report also offers the first assessment of some of the significant recent progress in protecting Canada's wilderness between 2000 and 2010, the first decade of the 21st century.

LARP Caribou Anthropogenic and Fire Disturbances in Woodland Caribou Herd Ranges in the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Area, Alberta

Download the Bulletin
21-June-2011
This new satellite-based analysis of industrial disturbances within threatened woodland caribou herds in the area of the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan documents that the prospects of these herds supporting self-sustaining populations in the near future appear to be declining rapidly due primarily to oil sands developments.

Athabsca river PAH Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Increase in Athabasca River Delta Sediment: Temporal Trends and Environmental Correlates
Read the Research Paper (Environmental Science and Technology)
Read the Press release
5-May-2011
A new study, published in a prestigious science journal, Environmental Science and Technology, by scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney and Global Forest Watch Canada's Executive Director, Peter Lee, documents that a group of toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are increasing in the Athabasca River sediments and are linked to Alberta's bitumen industries.
Contacts:
Dr. Kevin Timoney: 780-922-3741 (primary)
Email: ktimoney@interbaun.com
Peter Lee: 780-422-5989
Email: peter@globalforestwatch.ca

Forest of Blue A Forest of Blue: Canada's Boreal Forest, the World's Waterkeeper
Get the report and press materials from:
www.pewenvironment.org
18-March-2011
A first of its kind report by the Pew Environment Group and co-authored by Peter lee and Ryan Cheng of Global Forest Watch Canada, reveals that Canada's boreal, the world's largest intact forest and on-land carbon storehouse, contains more unfrozen freshwater than any other ecosystem. As United Nations' International Year of Forests and World Water Day coincide, world leaders are grappling with water scarcity and pollution - and scientists are calling boreal protection a top global priority.

Castle Area Grizzly Bear Castle Area Forest Land Use Zone: Linear Disturbances, Access Densities and Grizzly Bear Habitat Security Areas
Read the Press Release
Download the Report
Download the Appendix (Field check photographs)
09-March-2011
This report examines linear disturbances in the Castle Area Forest Land Use Zone of southwestern Alberta and analyzes these disturbances for: their use by motorized vehicles; the Government of Alberta's management and policy intentions compared to actual use by motorized vehicles, and; their potential impact on key grizzly bear areas.

GFWC receives Boreal Award
GFWC Receives Boreal Award

(December-2010) Peter Lee, Executive Director, was honoured to accept a Boreal Award on behalf of the board and staff of Global Forest Watch Canada at the annual awards gala in Ottawa on November 24th. The annual Boreal Awards, presented by the Boreal Leadership Council, pay tribute to individuals, groups, companies, and governments who are passionate about the protection and the vitality of Canada's Boreal Forest.

Read more.


10 Year Anniversary

2010 Releases: GFWC's 10th Year Anniversary

Ecological Values Atlas of Key Ecological Areas Within Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes
Download Report - (High res 53.7MB| Low res 4.5MB)
Visit the Data Warehouse to download the GIS data
17-December-2010
Global Forest Watch Canada has created a dataset of key ecological areas by applying a ranking system to a variety of biotic and abiotic datasets of the terrestrial and aquatic environments within Canada's intact forest landscapes. The results are an interesting illustration of a combined analytical and mapping approach to ecological values.

Change Analysis (1990-2001) Industrial-caused Changes to Canada's Forest Frontier: 1990-2001
Download Report - (High res 35.4 MB | Low res 2.6 MB)
Download the GIS data - (FGDB 175 MB | SHP 358 MB)
10-December-2010
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.

Nova Scotia IFL Nova Scotia's Intact Forest Landscapes: Opportunities for Conservation Planning
Read the press release
Download the Report and Maps
Visit the Data Warehouse to download the GIS data
26-November-2010
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 over 500 ha remain on crown land. We welcome your interest and your comments (reply to info@globalforestwatch.ca).

Canada Atlas IFL Atlas of Canada's Intact Forest Landscapes
Download Report - (High res 86MB| Low res 5MB)
Visit the Data Warehouse to download the GIS data
13-September-2010
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.

Cumulative Access Cumulative access in Canada's forest ecozones (Bulletin)
Download the bulletin (English | French)
Visit the Data Warehouse to download the GIS data
13-September-2010
This Global Forest Watch Canada study has analyzed the extent to which Canada's forest ecozones have been impacted by significant human activities. GFWC's cumulative access layer was compiled by analyzing Landsat (TM and ETM) satellite images for the period 1988 to 2006. All visible infrastructure and other human activities on the images were mapped and buffered by 500 metres. It is accompanied by a geospatial dataset.

Change Analysis Summary of Global Forest Watch Canada's Anthropogenic Change Projects: 2006-2010
Download the Report (15.8 MB)
Visit the Data Warehouse to download the GIS data
13-September-2010
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 focussed on major ecosystem types, such as terrestrial ecozones, watersheds, inland temperate rainforests, Rocky Mountain Foothills, and Greenbelt surrounding Toronto.

Tar sands database Global Forest Watch Canada Makes Available Tar Sands Database for Researchers: "Environmental Impacts of the Tar Sands Industry in Northeastern Alberta: A Database"

Read the Backgrounder
Download the Database
User name: public
Password: public
Note: Database is large (~1.4 GB). It is recommended to use an FTP program to download the files. FileZilla is a free FTP program that you can download to your computer.
30-July-2010
Greenpeace, Sierra Club Prairie, Keepers of the Athabasca and Global Forest Watch Canada today released databases compiled by prominent scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney, one with more than 6,500 incidents, regarding tar sands operations that raise serious concerns about how companies are allowed to operate in this province by the Alberta government.

Hydropower III Comprehensive conservation planning in Canadian boreal regions

Download the Abstract (1 MB)
Order the publication from sciencedirect.com

5-May-2010
Science journal publication in Biological Conservation – 2010! (D.W. Schindler and P.G. Lee) In a water-scarce world, there is increasing pressure to divert and exploit boreal freshwaters, and devising conservation plans to protect boreal freshwaters and their catchments is urgent. We propose a catchment-based approach that includes water and chemical mass-balances as a sensitive means of detecting early degradation of many ecosystem services in both catchments and freshwaters.