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Intact Forest Landscapes and Conservation Planning in Canada Prepared by: Ryan Cheng Global Forest Watch Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "Intact Forest Landscapes and Conservation Planning in Canada Prepared by: Ryan Cheng Global Forest Watch Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intact Forest Landscapes and Conservation Planning in Canada Prepared by: Ryan Cheng Global Forest Watch Canada

2 Outline GFWC Intact Forest Landscapes reports – Atlas of Canada’s Intact Forest Landscapes – Nova Scotia’s Intact Forest Landscapes Intact Forest Landscapes and Conservation Values – Overview Conservation Values Index – Province of Alberta example: Key Ecological Values Key Threats – Example of Threats around Protected Areas

3 Introduction to Global Forest Watch Canada – Began mapping IFL in Canada in ~ 2000, based on earlier work by Global Forest Watch Russia To support the stewardship and conservation of Canada's remaining forests, by providing decision makers and civil society with timely, accurate information on their location, state, and change. In particular, this mission includes monitoring development activities using sophisticated GIS and remote sensing technologies.

4 National datasets we create: – Cumulative Access [Anthropogenic Disturbance to ~2006] – Change Analysis [~1990 – 2000] – National Hydropower Reservoirs [2007] – Intact Forest Landscapes [up to ~2006] – Other datasets: Industrial Tenures (for example: forest tenures/mills) First Nations Lands

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8 GFWC National Intact Forest Landscapes Reports – Large intact forest landscapes – Forest landscape fragments – Intact forest landscapes ha ha5 000 ha

9 GFWC Intact Forest Landscape Mapping Methodology How do we map Intact Forest Landscapes? – Based on GFW Russia Methodology, binary classification as intact/disturbed. We first assume that all forests are intact. Existing datasets – Eliminate existing anthropogenic disturbances based on readily available datasets (for example: roads, reservoirs) Landsat data Eliminate all visible anthropogenic disturbances seen medium resolution satellite imagery (for example: clearcuts, oil well sites) Fire was not included as anthropogenic change Disturbances were buffered by 500m – 1000m

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15 GFWC Regional Intact Forest Landscapes Reports We map smaller Intact Forest Landscapes to determine where “core” intact forests exists and focus conservation efforts around central Intact Forest Landscapes

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18 Global Forest Watch Key Ecological Values Reports High conservation values vs. highest threat – Examples of conservation values datasets – Examples of threats datasets [Alberta]

19 Process of choosing conservation values Determining priority areas within IFLs – How do we choose values EXPERT PANEL[DELPHI TECHNIQUE] – How good is the product? Depends on: – What datasets are available – The scale/coarseness of the data – Who chooses the conservation values – Geographical boundaries – Political opportunities – How the conservation values are ranked » [show a comparison of the effects of changing conservation values ranking]

20 Potential Conservation Values List of datasets that we have available in Canada: – Intact Forest Lanscapes – Caribou/ caribou habitat – Carbon storage: Terrestrial (Soil Organic Carbon) – Assessment of Representation (AoR) – Aquatic density – Rainforests (Boreal) – Free-flowing major rivers – Proximity/adjacency to existing Protected Areas – Old growth forests (Forest age) – Wetlands – Carbon sinks (Net Biome Productivity) – Tree height – Focal species: Grizzly – Focal species: Wolverine – Species Diversity

21 Intact Forest Landscapes in Alberta

22 Example of High Conservation Value: Old Growth Forests

23 Conservation Values (Intact Forest Landscapes)

24 Example of Threat: Recent Anthropogenic Disturbance Surrounding Protected Areas

25 Example of Threat: Energy Developments (Tar Sands)

26 Example of Threat: Energy Developments (Petroleum and Natural Gas Wells )

27 Example of Threat: Forestry Concessions

28 Threats Index

29 Intersection of Ecological Values and Threats

30 Conservation Values for all Forested Regions of Alberta: Wetlands

31 Conservation Values for all Forested Regions of Alberta: Shoreline

32 Conservation Values for all Forested Regions of Alberta: Species Diversity

33 Conservation Values for all Forested Regions of Alberta Key Ecological Value Number of CategoriesRanking Relative Weight Scaled Weight [max = 1] Soil Organic Carbon51 to Net Biome Productivity31 to Potenitial Old Growth Forests11 to Species Diversity51 to Focal Species11 to Aquatic Density per Watershed51 to Wetlands51 to

34 Conservation Values (Intact Forest Landscapes)

35 Example of a Regional Study in Alberta: Lower Athabasca Regional Plan Land use plan for an area of Alberta undergoing extensive development Identify lands which would allow for 20% of the region to be protected

36 Regional Study in Alberta: Conservation Values

37 Regional Study in Alberta: Threats Index

38 Regional Study in Alberta: Conservation Values vs. Threats

39 Conservation Values and Protected Areas in Canada Is the allocation of lands and freshwaters to protected areas achieving naturalness, presumably a key conservation objective of protected areas? – Definition of naturalness

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43 Conservation Values and Protected Areas in Canada 1)Anthropogenic access within Canada’s Protected Areas is approximately 31% of that within all of Canada (5.3% versus 17.6%), meaning that Canada’s protected areas are much more “natural” than Canada as a whole. 2)Only 5.3% of Canada’s protected areas are anthropogenically accessed, compared to that of surrounding buffer areas at 48.6%: buffer areas surrounding protected areas are almost 10 times more accessed than the protected areas they surround.

44 Lessons for GFWC Intact Forest Landscapes have been, in Canada, a powerful but insufficient, conservation advocacy tool. There has been urgent need to: – Map smaller IFLs than 50,000 ha – Identify high priority sites for conservation within IFLs – Identify both industrial near-future threats to IFLs and political opportunities to conserve IFLs.


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