The largest contiguous protected boreal forest in the world is now found in northeastern Alberta. The creation and expansion of 5 provincial parks connected to the Wood Buffalo National Park create a protected area of more than 6.7 million hectares.
The 1.36 million hectare addition is the largest addition to the Alberta Parks system in history, and was executed in partnership with the Alberta government, the federal government, the Tallcree First Nation, Syncrude and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
As of the 1.36 million hectare addition, 14.6% of Alberta will be protected land – up from 12.6%. This gives Alberta the highest percentage of protected land out of all other provinces with the exception of British Columbia, which protects 15.5%.
This announcement puts Alberta closer to meeting the International Union for Conservation of Nature goal of conserving 17% of all terrestrial areas. The federal government has adopted this conservation goal, known as an “Aichi Target”, which forms part of its commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity.