Greenpeace is calling on oil companies and the Canadian government to stop the tar sands and end the industrialization of a vast area of Indigenous territories, forests and wetlands in northern Alberta.
The tar sands are huge deposits of bitumen, a tar-like substance that's turned into oil through complex and energy-intensive processes that cause widespread environmental damage. These processes pollute the Athabasca River, lace the air with toxins and convert farmland into wasteland. Large areas of the Boreal forest are clearcut to make way for development in the tar sands, the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Greenpeace is also concerned with the social and health costs of the tar sands. First Nations communities in the tar sands report unusually high levels of rare cancers and autoimmune diseases. Their traditional way of life is threatened. Substance abuse, suicide, gambling and family violence have increased in the tar sands. Meanwhile, the thousands of workers brought in by oil companies face a housing crisis in northern Alberta.
Climate change and the threats of nuclear energy are real. That is why Greenpeace works to bring about a clean and just energy future. Tar sands and nuclear development plague the ecosystems and communities they occupy with safety and health risks. The Energy [R]evolution is a set of ready-to-implement solutions that lead away from the dangers of climate chaos and nuclear meltdown. It is a vision of the clean and just energy future for everyone on the planet.
Canada's Boreal Forest is one of the largest ancient forests left on the planet. The Boreal Forest is also the worlds largest storehouse of terrestrial carbon, storing the equivalent of 27 years of global emissions from burning fossil fuels or 186 billion tonnes of carbon in its soils and trees. Protecting it is one way of the best ways to curb global warming. Almost 80 per cent of the Earth's original forests have already been degraded or completely destroyed, making the protection of the Boreal Forest all the more important.
The integrity of the Boreal Forest is threatened by destructive logging and oil and gas development. Clearcut logging is fragmenting the forest to create products such as toilet paper, copy and book paper, newsprint and lumber. This unsustainable development is endangering wildlife such as woodland caribou and threatening the livelihoods and cultures of forestry workers and First Nations peoples.
Greenpeace is working to stop the destruction of Canada's largest intact ecosystem by educating, engaging and inspiring individual consumers, major forestry companies and their large customers, and governments to support the creation of new protected areas and a switch to responsible forestry. Find out more at http://www.greenpeace.ca/boreal
Greenpeace fights nuclear power because it poses a serious threat to the environment and humanity. The expansion of nuclear power must be halted and nuclear plants shut down so that we can develop a clean energy future. That's why we are working to stop Darlington in Ontario and protect electricity consumers from a new round of nuclear debt.
Life on our blue planet depends on healthy oceans, but recent reports warn that sea life faces the next mass extinction. Next to climate change, overfishing is the single greatest threat to marine biodiversity. Industrial fishing has reduced populations of large, predatory fish like tuna, cod and sharks by about ninety per cent in the last fifty years. Growing demand for seafood, wasteful fishing practices and mismanaged fish stocks and aquaculture operations are leading to broken links in marine food chains in Canadian waters and worldwide. Urgent action is needed to protect marine life and allow recovery. Greenpeace works to relieve pressure on ocean ecosystems and to establish a network of no-take marine reserves--ocean parks--covering 40 per cent of the world's oceans.
Greenpeace fought for a decade to ensure greater protection for the magnificent Great Bear Rainforest, and continues to work with the B.C. government and other partners to ensure the forest's long-term sustainability.
Stretching along the coast from Vancouver to Alaska, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest tract of intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. The forest was threatened by industrial logging and mining. Habitat for elk, eagles and bears was being destroyed.
On March 31, 2009, the B.C. government announced the preservation of 50 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest, following through on part of its 2006 promise to protect 70 per cent. Greenpeace, our environmental partners, the B.C. government, First Nations and logging companies celebrated. The B.C. government called the agreement the "most significant environmental announcement in the province's history." We agree.
The Great Bear Rainforest agreement also includes more restrictive logging regulations, recognizes First Nations as governments and supports sustainable development in First Nations communities. Although many parts of the plan are being implemented, Greenpeace's campaign to protect the rainforest is not over. The B.C. government has committed to setting aside 70 per cent of the natural level of old growth forest by 2014. We will make sure it does.