One week after the blockade of the freighter Jaeger Arrow
in Quebec's Saguenay River preventing the export of thousands of tonnes of pulp to Europe and having eight of its activists arrested, the Greenpeace ship, the MV Arctic Sunrise
, ported at the Old Port of Montreal while traveling along the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Toronto to promote alternatives to coal and nuclear energy, and highlight the indiscriminate logging of the Boreal Forest
Canada's boreal forest
is the largest tract of ancient forest left in North America and represents 25 percent of the world's remaining ancient forests. As a vast and intact ecosystem, it supports a natural food web, complete with large carnivores like bears, wolves and lynx along with thousands of other species of plants, mammals, birds and insects. With its wetlands filtering millions of gallons of water each day, the boreal forests contains 80 percent of the Earth's unfrozen freshwater.
The forest also contains a rich cultural legacy and is a source of sustenance for close to 80 percent of the country's First Nations
Aboriginal peoples living in hundreds of communities and depending on wilderness lands, waters, and wildlife for their livelihood and spiritual well-being.
The northern boreal ecoregion accounts for about one third of this planet's total forest area. It is comprised of a broad circumpolar band which runs through most of Canada, Russia, Scandinavia and parts of Northern Scotland. Compared to much of the world, this ecoregion enjoys a sparse population and thus one would think, few threats. However the reality is quite different and approximately half of Canada's Boreal forests has been allocated or licensed to logging companies and are being clearcut to create building materials and consumer products such as toilet paper, office paper and books. The logging industry continues to cut down over 290,000 hectares of forest in Quebec, 185,000 hectares in Ontario and 67,000 hectares of forest in Alberta every year. This means that an area of forest larger than Prince Edward Island is lost every year in these three provinces alone.
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