The simple fact is that old growth forests are increasingly rare. 80% of the world's original forests have already been logged, and much of what remains are altered fragments.
Most of the remaining large tracts intact forests on the planet are contained in just three countries: Canada, Russia and Brazil. Canada alone is home to fully 25% of the world's intact forests, and every year the amount of forest logged in Canada would fill enough logging trucks parked bumper to bumper to circle the equator two and a half times.
The need to protect our endangered forests is clear.
The World's Intact Forests: Millions of years of evolutionary perfection at risk.
Spotlight: Quebec’s Broadback Valley a first step in safeguarding Canada’s Boreal Forest
The Boreal Forest stretches across Northern Canada. It contains seven of the ten largest intact forests left on earth. It holds the largest unfrozen freshwater supply on the planet, and plays a vital role in stabilizing our climate. Canopy is dedicated to meaningful ecological outcomes and the best available science suggests 50 to 70% in protection is required for ecosystem integrity. As a first step to contribute towards this we are leading a collaborative solution to secure the protection of 3.2 million acres of critical habitat and magnificent Boreal forests in the Broadback Valley.
The Broadback River Valley in the ‘Nord-du-Québec region’ of Canada's Boreal Forest is one of the last great intact forests in Quebec. It is an ecologically rich area that the Cree First Nations, Canopy and its allies are working to protect. Canopy applauds the Cree Grand Council’s recent conservation vision. Read the latest news »
Coastal temperate rainforests are essential to stabilizing our climate, and feature some of the highest carbon storage densities on the planet. They are home to ancient and biologically rich ecosystems of towering red cedars, hemlock and spruce, where eagles soar and rivers teem with salmon. Today, less than 25% of this forest type remains worldwide.
Indonesia is home to some of the most ecologically diverse stands of tropical rainforest in the world. From orangutans and tigers to rhinos and elephants, these endangered forests have everything but protection.
5. Russia’s Taiga
The Taiga – Russia and Siberia’s Boreal forests provide crucial intact habitat for a variety of plants and animals, including tigers, leopards and brown bears along with many species found no where else in the world. The Taiga is a carbon sink for 15% of global carbon emissions. Despite these values, illegal and unsustainable logging continues to threaten this pristine region.
6. Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Covering 145 million hectares, the world’s second largest tropical rainforest is situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It plays an important role in both biodiversity protection and global climate stability.
These rainforests are critical habitat for the endangered bonobo (human's closest relative) and other threatened species including forest elephants and hippopotamus – and also provide livelihoods for 40 million people. Relative stability has returned to the DRC after years of war, however, an expansion of uncontrolled industrial logging plagued by corruption and flawed law enforcement, threaten the rainforest.
7. Amazon Basin, South America
The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, and the source of nearly one-fifth of all freshwater on our planet - stretching to eight South American countries.
The Amazon rainforests contain more than 40,000 plant species; sustain the world’s richest diversity of birds, butterflies and fish; serve as one of the world’s last refuges for jaguars, Amazon River dolphins and harpy eagles; and is home to over 30 million people and over 300 distinct indigenous groups.
At current rates, it is estimated that 55% of the rain forests could be gone by 2030.