Boreal Forest in the News
World Wetlands Day 2011 - Forests for Water and Wetlands
February 2, 2011
Today marks the 40th anniversary of World Wetlands Day, as declared by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Their theme this year ties in very closely with the work and goals of the Canadian Boreal Initiative. They are celebrating "Forests for Water and Wetlands," which also honours 2011 as the International Year of Forests. Obviously, 2011 is the forests' year to shine!
The global importance of Canada’s Boreal Forest is already well-known: it is the world’s largest intact forest ecosystem, rivaling the Amazon Rainforest in size and ecological importance. It is the ancestral and current home of hundreds of aboriginal communities. It teems with billions of migratory birds, ducks, and geese, millions of caribou, and countless moose, black and grizzly bear. It captures and stores twice as much carbon as tropical forests. But Canada’s Boreal Forest plays an equally important role of protecting vast wetlands, lakes and rivers.
For those working in the vast arenas of climate change, water filtration, and species protection, the importance of wetlands is clear. According to the Ramsar's wetlands page, wetlands in forests are:
To learn more about Wetlands and Forests, visit World Wetlands Day 2011. In addition to interesting facts, they also offer a variety of downloadable materials, including comic strips, stickers, and posters in three languages.
Here in Canada, the Boreal Forest and its freshwater contributes to climate stabilization, promotes ocean health, and supports hundreds of aboriginal communities through a variety of means. It also provides a safe haven for billions of birds and supports some of the last remaining wild fish runs and many species of big mammals. For many species that have been moved or extirpated from their southern ranges, such as the Atlantic Salmon, it provides the last intact habitat where healthy populations remain.
It also acts as an economic powerhouse with total ecosystem services including water filtration, carbon storage, and flood control estimated at over 700 billion dollars—more than half of that directly attributable to wetlands and waterways.
Follow wetlands news on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/search/wetlands
Atlas Canada - Wetlands - Wetlands sustain more life than any other ecosystem - as much as many tropical forests and more than good farmland. Wetlands, which occupy 6% of the earth's land and freshwater surface, play a major role in maintaining the stability of the global environment.
Ducks Unlimited Canada - Everything wetlands
Conservation Ontario - Wetlands are the workhorses of our environment (very cool animated fact sheets)
Nature Conservancy of Canada - Wetland protection coincides with World Wetland Day
Environment Canada - Media release - Canada's Environment Minister Acknowledges the 40th Anniversary of the Singing of the Ramsar Convention
Environment Canada - Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
Nature Canada - World Wetlands Day
Resources for Rethinking - tips for teachers