About the Panel

The International Boreal Conservation Science Panel is an advisory group of top scientists from across Canada and the U.S. focused on providing scientific expertise useful to decision makers considering the future of one of the world’s last great conservation opportunities—the protection of Canada’s boreal forest region. Formed in 2008, the 13-member panel operates under the guidance and authority of its members who all participate voluntarily with no compensation.

Canada’s boreal contains one of the largest unfragmented, virgin forests in the world. It also has the some of the world’s largest remaining populations of caribou, moose, bear, and wolves. Globally, the boreal stores more carbon in its soils, peat, and permafrost than any other terrestrial ecosystem. It contains the largest collection of lakes, rivers and wetlands anywhere on earth.  Moving at an ever increasing pace, a wide range of threats face the boreal including habitat loss and degradation from various natural resource extraction industries and from climate change. The International Boreal Conservation Science Panel was formed to advance science-based solutions to secure the long-term vitality of North America’s boreal forest ecosystem.

The scientists have expertise that covers a range of disciplines from global warming and caribou biology to conservation planning and the effects of oil and gas industries on birds and wildlife. All have outstanding scholarly reputations and a commitment to public outreach and conservation.

The Panel actively works on assessing the conservation values of Canada’s boreal. Such conservation values include the intactness of habitats and ecosystem processes, ability to maintain abundant bird and mammal populations, ability to support representative age- and size-structured ecological communities, quantification of natural capital values, importance for carbon storage, protection of healthy and pristine aquatic systems, and ability to sustain aboriginal traditional values.

Assessing these values will provide additional information to assist governments, First Nations, industry, and non-governmental agencies working together toward planning for and establishing a broadened network of protected areas across Canada’s boreal forest.

Learn more about our members of the Panel on our Meet the Panelists page.