Stretching from the east side of Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg far into the province of Ontario is one of the greatest natural areas left on earth. The Heart of the Boreal is a vast wilderness filled with jack pine-covered granite ridges, black spruce and tamarack lowlands, and more lakes than you can imagine. Over sixty First Nation communities have lived here for generations, most of them still beyond the reach of roads. The Heart of the Boreal is the largest roadless intact forest in the northern hemisphere, second in size only to the undisturbed Amazon rainforest on the entire planet.
The boreal forest, which circles the globe’s northern regions, is of tremendous importance to all our health and well-being. It is the earth’s greatest source of fresh water and the largest terrestrial storehouse of carbon. The boreal region plays a crucial role in regulating our climate and cleaning the air we breathe. Given these benefits, it is no surprise the United Nations is considering the Heart of the Boreal for World Heritage site status.
Five First Nations in Manitoba and Ontario have nominated their traditional territories in the Heart of the Boreal for a U.N. World Heritage Site, for both its natural and cultural significance. The Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Project is led by Poplar River, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Bloodvein and Pikangikum First Nations, and will protect 4.3 million hectares of their lands and waters from industrial development.
Logging, mining, and hydroelectric development all threaten the Heart of the Boreal right now. The Wilderness Committee is working to ensure that the majority of the Heart of the Boreal is preserved with large, interconnected protected areas, and that the vision and values of First Nations involved are honoured and respected.
View Heart of the Boreal in a larger map