Forests Worth Far More Alive Than Dead

Stephen Leahy

BROOKLIN, Canada, Sep 27 (IPS) – Boreal forests provide 250 billion dollars a year in ecosystem services like reducing atmospheric carbon and water filtration, but which have gone unacknowledged by governments and industry, experts say.

Governments need to begin accounting for those services before allowing timber, oil and gas and mining to carve up the world’s remaining northern forests, argues the Edmonton, Canada-based ecological economist Mark Anielski.

The globe-spanning boreal forest is the last great forest ecosystem — larger even than the Amazon. The boreal is also the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon, making it one of the world’s best defences against global climate change.

“The boreal is like a giant carbon bank account. The forests and peatlands store an estimated 67 billion tonnes of carbon in Canada alone — almost eight times the amount of carbon produced worldwide in the year 2000,” Anielski told IPS.

—Inter Press News Service

2 thoughts on “Forests Worth Far More Alive Than Dead

  1. I agree. I live in washington, down by oregon, and I love the forests here. Not only are they good for the ecosystem (not that government cares about anything but the economy)but they are beautiful to look at and live around.

  2. Thanks for the comment. There is no economy without ecosystems. Forests and nature are also important for our psychological wellbeing — people in hospitals with a window overlooking some trees heal faster for example.

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