'We enthusiastically support Quebec's plan to legislate protection for an area of the boreal roughly equal in size to France. It moves last year's pledge out of the realm of promises and closer to reality.
'We applaud Quebec for an ambitious effort to balance conservation with development on a grand scale.'
Background: The North American boreal forest, stretching from Newfoundland and Labrador to Alaska, is the world's largest intact forest, surpassing the Amazon Rainforest in size, ecological integrity, and carbon storage, holding 22 percent of the carbon on the earth's land surface.
More than 20 percent of the woodlands are located in the province of Quebec. In 2007, 1,500 international scientists recommended that at least half of Canada's boreal forest be protected. In March 2009, Quebec Premier Jean Charest pledged that 50 percent of the land area covered by his 'Plan Nord' would be protected from industrial development, and that industrial activity in the other portions would be held to sustainable standards.
The Pew Environment Group is the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-governmental organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. http://www.pewenvironment.org