Canada’s ‘Northern Amazon’ on the Brink

December 18, 2013 at 11:05 am Leave a comment

The Mackenzie River Basin, which occupies and protects one-fifth of Canada’s fresh water, could be severely destabilized by climate change as well as unbridled resource extraction, including hydraulic fracturing, hydro dams and oil sands mining.
That’s the uncomfortable conclusion of a new report by the prestigious University of California-based Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy on what it calls “Canada’s northern Amazon.”
The scientific report, based, in part, on extensive input from First Nation elders, strongly recommends better environmental monitoring as well as industrial performance bonds for mining operations.
It also calls for economic limits to development that give “due consideration” to the basin’s essential water-making and carbon saving ecological services.
The Mackenzie River, the longest flowing northern river on the continent, meanders through an expansive northern boreal forest and muskeg. The storied basin, the scene of gold rushes and oil booms, occupies parts of three provinces and two territories — an area three times the size of France.
In addition to being a globally important carbon sink, fish maker (53 species), climate regulator and home to many First Nations, including the Dene, the basin performs essential ecological services that make it globally significant, adds the report.
The report describes the fabled region as “a lynch-pin holding the ice-water-weather-climate nexus of the continent together.”
More HERE>>

Entry filed under: Carbon_Emissions, Climate, Energy.

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