The boreal forest is a belt of coniferous forests in the northern hemisphere. It covers Canada, northern Europe, Russia and Alaska. It is one of the largest land biomes on Earth and comprises 29% of the planet's forest coverage. The pharmaceutical industry in general supports the effective management and protection of large biomes like the boreal forest and rainforest because they are centers of biodiversity, or widely varied flora and fauna in particular areas of the planet's surface. The industry supports areas of biodiversity because new medicines are often found in plants in these areas. This area of medicine is called natural products since the pharmaceutical agents are derived directly from nature. So these natural products are often a great source for discovering new medicines.