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.