Study shows unsustainable impacts to forest in the 1990s

Agroundbreaking new study by Global Forest Watch Canada reveals the massive impacts onforests in northern Quebec in the 1990s.

The study,which is pilot project that GFWC is planning on duplicating for the rest of Canada, reveals that the Boreal regionin Quebec is being rapidly impacted over awide area, mostly by logging, but also by roads and reservoirs. The study, Recent Anthropogenic Changes within theNorthern Boreal, Southern Taiga and Hudson Plains Ecozones of Quebec, was undertaken using extensive satellite imageryand analysis.

In one628,000 ha watershed, 27% of the forests or 132,000 ha were logged and roadedover the course of an 11 year period. In one northern Cree (Eeyou Istchee)trap line area, over 60% of the forest (16,539 ha) was logged over a period of12 years.

Thisunsustainable level of impacts is not unique to Quebec. Other areas of Canada, particularly in British Columbia are being impacted at similarrates from logging and other development. However, evidence is only anecdotal,and further studies by GFWC are needed to quantify the facts.

Over 100forest companies, government staff, environmental groups and academics wereinvited to peer review the study before its release and the satellite analysiswas field checked on the ground and with data provided by the government ofQubec.”

This study,and others conducted by GFWC will be particularly helpful to First Nations fightingto resolve forestry issues on their territories. In fact the Grand Council ofthe Crees (Eeyou Istchee) will be using the northern Quebec findings in their legal fightover forestry with Qubec.

Environmentalistswill be able to use this and other GFWC studies to advance efforts toconserve Canada’s remaining forests. Governmentswill be able to use GFWC’s conclusions to implement better laws and policies topromote sustainable use of Canada’s forests.

Note, I am currently a board member of GlobalForest Watch Canada as well as previously serving as the chair of theinternational organization and its Canadian equivalent.

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