The boreal forest is one of the most complex and species-rich ecosystems in the circumpolar world, however there is no unified map that relies on an interntionally agree-upon standard for classifying and mapping boreal vegetation.
The Circumboreal Vegetation Map (CBVM) will develop a global map of the circumboreal forest biome with a common legend. By recognizing the boreal region as a single geo-ecosystem with a common set of cultural, political and economic issues, the CBVM project will be the first detailed vegetation map of the entire global biome.
Vegetation mapping has numerous applications to scientists and managers concerned with Arctic and boreal systems. Vegetation mapping can provide a snapshot of baseline environmental conditions, and offer insights into impact studies on wildlife and naturlal resources. Another important application of vegetation maps is analysis of feedback mechanisms in global models, such as increased emission of greenhouse gases. A unified CBVM map is needed for purposes related to resource development, land-use planning, studies of boreal biota and biodiversity, education, anticipated global changes and human interactions.