The agreement between loggers and activists to save Canada's remaining boreal forest is proving controversial
Will historic deal to protect Canada's mighty boreal forest work?
26th October, 2010
The unprecedented Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement will, if all goes to plan, preserve vast swathes of the country's pristine wilderness. But as environmentalists and the logging industry begin to roll the initiative out, there are claims that not everything is as it should be, reports Christopher Pala
Six months after campaigners and loggers signed the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement to safeguard unprecedented amounts of forest land, the deal's real contours are starting to emerge, and they include papered-over differences that promise a rough ride ahead.
The historic agreement was announced at a press conference in Toronto on May 18 after two years of secret talks – two years during which the US construction industry collapsed, newspapers closed and the Canadian dollar went up. As a result, harvesting has fallen to about half the allowable amount.
The pact was designed to bring a fresh green lustre to the ailing industry and increase its market share, pave the way for unprecedented conservation, and end campaigns, boycotts and poor harvesting methods in one of the world’s biggest spreads of relatively intact nature, which is home to Canada’s iconic woodland caribou – and all by the end of 2012.
Shy and reclusive, the woodland caribou requires large areas of intact boreal forest, unlike the barren-land caribou that lives further north, in herds that can reach tens of thousands of...
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