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More than 26 million ducks and waterfowl nest and breed in Canada's Boreal each year


Canadian Boreal Initiative

What is the Canadian Boreal Initiative?
The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) is an independent organization committed to a long-term vision, which is to safeguard the balance between the preservation of nature and the sustainable development of the natural resources in Canada's Boreal Forest.

What is CBI's role?
CBI is a national convener. CBI brings together a wide range of conservation organizations, First Nations, industry leaders and governments to create new solutions to achieve the balance between Boreal conservation and sustainable development.

What does CBI do?
CBI sponsors scientific research to advance thinking on the best conservation-based planning approaches for the Boreal Forest. CBI also supports efforts by First Nations, industry and environmental groups to work together on balanced land-use planning. In addition, CBI provides policy analysis to encourage governments to support a balanced approach to Boreal Forest conservation and sustainable development.

Boreal Forest Conservation Framework

What is the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework?
The Boreal Forest Conservation Framework is a vision for protecting the long-term health and viability of the Boreal Forest and its wildlife. It is based on science and seeks balance between competing uses, guided by local knowledge as part of the development of local land use plans.

What is land use planning?
In general, land-use planning is the process of allocating the landscape to different activities, including development and protection, so as to achieve ecological, socio-economic and cultural goals. CBI advocates for the engagement of local and First Nations communities in the land-use planning process.

What are the goals and principles of the Framework?
The goal of the Framework is permanent protection as parks and wildlife reserves of at least 50 per cent of the Canadian Boreal and application of strictly protective management standards in any other areas where development will occur.  The principles are explained in more detail here.

Why was the Framework developed?
The Framework was developed by a group of interested parties, advised by scientists, to help create a shared vision across all sectors of Canadian society. The Framework calls for conservation-based land use planning in advance of development, to reverse the typical pattern of development, prioritizing short term profits, that damages or destroys ecosystems.

What is CBI's relationship with the Framework?
CBI convenes the Boreal Leadership Council, the founding members of which drafted the Framework. CBI is tasked with the responsibility of promoting the Framework and securing additional signatories and endorsers.

Who supports the Framework?
The Framework has been signed by the members of the Boreal Leadership Council and endorsed by a diverse collection of companies and organizations, as well as more than 1,500 scientists from around the world.

Boreal Leadership Council

What is the Boreal Leadership Council?
The Boreal Leadership Council, first convened in December 2003, is comprised of a diverse collection of conservation groups, First Nations and resource companies, all of which have an interest and a stake in the future of Canada's Boreal Forest. A complete list of the council's members is here.

What does the Boreal Leadership Council do?
Members of the Boreal Leadership Council are committed to take action and apply the principles of the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework in their own spheres of activity.

How was the Boreal Leadership Council selected?
The members of the BLC are recognized leaders from industry, First Nations and civil society who shared the sustainability and conservation vision of the Framework and are willing to publicly commit to its implementation.

What is CBI's relationship with the Boreal Leadership Council?
CBI is the national convener and secretariat of the Boreal Leadership Council. CBI works with Council members to expand endorsement of the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework in a variety of sectors; generate on-the-ground examples of the Framework principles in action; and create opportunities for governments to become engaged and active participants.

How can my company get involved in Boreal conservation?
In addition to the members of the Boreal Leadership Council, dozens of companies and organizations have endorsed the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework (a complete list is here). These companies have pledged to promote the ideals of the Framework where possible and to spread the word about the importance of Boreal conservation.  Contact our Framework Outreach Officer to learn more.

Canada's Boreal

How does CBI define Canada's Boreal?
The Canadian Boreal ecosystem includes seven ecozones defined under the National Ecological Framework for Canada: the Boreal Plains, Boreal Shield, Boreal Cordillera, Taiga Plains, Taiga Shield, Taiga Cordillera and Hudson Plains, with the exception of the southern part of the Boreal Shield ecozone (Algonquin Lake Nipissing ecoregion) due to the predominantly non-Boreal tree species in that area. The Boreal encompasses almost 6 million km2.

How many people live in the Boreal?
The Boreal is home to 14 per cent of Canada's population – approximately 3.5 million people. More than 600 First Nations communities are in the Boreal, as are cities such as St. John's, Thunder Bay, Fort McMurray and Chicoutimi.

What animals live in the Boreal?
The Boreal is home to bears, wolves, moose, beavers, deer and some of the largest remaining herds of caribou – not to mention many smaller animals like rabbits, foxes and badgers.

What birds live in the Boreal?
Approximately 325 species of bird rely on the Boreal at some point in their lives, with nearly all of them regularly breeding in the region. More information on Boreal birds can be found by visiting the Boreal Songbird initiative.

What can I do to save the Boreal?
Check out interesting facts about the Boreal here, read more detail here and get involved with one of our partner organizations currently at work in the Boreal.