The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
Canada’s own boreal forest is the world’s largest ecosystem, one of its last untouched swaths of forest, and a habitat that covers roughly 58% of our country’s massive landmass. Some 15% of our total population—including 80% of members of Canada’s First Nations— live within the boreal forest, along with countless species of flora and fauna. Three billion birds flock to the boreal forest every year to breed and fledge their young. It is also home to dozens of mammal, hundreds of fish, thousands of plant, and tens of thousands of insect species.
Our boreal forest’s size and qualities as a habitat make it an indispensible resource for the conservation of Canadian wildlife: its soil absorbs and holds more carbon per hectare than any other ecosystem in the world. By keeping carbon, a harmful greenhouse gas, from escaping into the atmosphere, our boreal forest is helping to manage negative environmental impacts on a global scale, and preserving habitats for living beings everywhere.
- One in a series of four coins designed by Canadian Aboriginal artist Corrine Hunt- designer of the gold, silver, and bronze medals, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint, for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Other coins available in this series include the Orca Whale, Peregrine Falcon and the Wood Bison.
- The reverse design by Corrine Hunt depicts a stylized kingfisher patiently overlooking a pine tree, executed with Hunt’s unique interpretation of traditional Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit forms. Four ovoid shapes—symbols of regeneration—line the ground and the ends of the tree branches, representing the forest’s cycles of life, death, and rebirth. A reflection of the forest in the water below completes the circle of life’s elements: air, land, and water.
- The beautiful finishes on this coin make it a piece of art.