The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), through its “Conservation of Natural Heritage” program, is exploring the status of conservation and identifying key challenges and opportunities at the national level in Canada. Through its Conserving Canada’s Natural Capital: the Boreal Forest” program, NRTEE is examining how to advance conservation on the working boreal forest landscape. The Abitibi region case study is one of three conducted across the Boreal Forest in Canada.
The report comprises two parts. The first part summarizes major issues and players in the boreal forest. The first section briefly describes the boreal ecosystem, its demographics, major industrial development, protected areas, and the ecological footprint of resource development. The data reveal the ecological, cultural and economic importance of this region and highlight the need to control the pace and intensity of resource development. Section two then turns to the constitutional and legislative framework for resource development in the boreal. This framework is complex and fragmented, a result of both the ambiguous constitutional division of legislative powers between the federal and provincial governments and the sector-specific nature of resource management regimes.