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It’s time for the BC government to curb raw log exports and boost value-added forestry jobs

February 27

Between 2013 and 2016, more raw logs were shipped from BC than during any other four-year period in the province’s history, prompting two forest industry unions and three leading environmental groups to call for a ban on raw log exports from old-growth forests and bold government action to stimulate BC’s flagging forest sector.

Raw log exports. Photo by TJ Watt.

The call follows new research released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office (CCPA-BC) that shows how exports of raw, unprocessed logs are surging. If these logs were processed in some of BC’s hardest hit forestry communities, at least 3,600 new jobs could be generated.

Last year, BC forest companies exported enough raw logs to frame nearly 134,000 homes, which equals roughly half of  Vancouver’s standing single-family homes. Instead of creating thousands of good-paying jobs in rural communities, logs are exported in raw form.

The Public and Private Workers of Canada along with UNIFOR (Canada’s largest private sector union), the Ancient Forest Alliance, Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee say the Province should enact a bold three-point plan to curb exports and stimulate jobs:

  1. Place an immediate ban on all exports of raw logs from old-growth forests.
  2. Immediately impose progressively higher taxes on log exports from second-growth forests to encourage investment in domestic mills.
  3. Introduce new policies to increase value-added forest manufacturing and jobs in rural and First Nations communities.

Four years of log export data analyzed by the CCPA-BC uncovered a number of disturbing trends in log exports from BC:

  • Between 2013 and 2016, nearly 26 million cubic meters of raw logs, with a combined sales value of more than $3 billion, were shipped from BC – more than any other four-year period since record keeping began.
  • More than one in three logs exported in the past five years came from BC’s centuries-old coastal old-growth rainforests
  • Most log exports in the past five years came from public lands under direct provincial control, not from private lands where the BC government has no jurisdiction, which is a sharp reversal from previous norms.

Vancouver Island rainforest. Photo by Charly Caproff.

Sierra Club BC is working toward solutions for healthy rainforests and healthy communities and worked with the BC government, First Nations and stakeholders on implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. Regional models like the Ecosystem-Based Management framework in the Great Bear Rainforest must be complemented with coherent province-wide conservation, climate and economic policies to ensure forestry can contribute jobs as part of a diverse, low carbon economy. For more information, please read our ten-point plan for transition toward this vision in our report, The Future is Here.

Please donate today to support our work protecting BC’s ancient and endangered old-growth forests.

Feature image by TJ Watt.

 

Victory: We stopped Enbridge for good!

By Caitlyn Vernon

November 30, 2016

Thanks to you and so many more like you all over the province, we did it!

After years of tireless, selfless struggle—organizing, marching, petitioning, writing submissions and speaking at NEB hearings, getting spied on by our own government’s security apparatus, raising funds for First Nations legal challenges, you name it—we finally got what we were so passionately demanding: the end of Enbridge.

This particular fight is finally over. For good. The Northern Gateway pipeline will not get built. Supertankers filled with diluted bitumen won’t sail through the Douglas Channel and threaten the jewel that is the Great Bear Rainforest. The risk of ecological and economic catastrophe that Enbridge posed has been avoided and we can all take a deep breath of relief. (Prime Minister Trudeau intends to legislate a tanker ban for the north coast. We will work to ensure the legislation is as strong as possible, so that we don’t have to fight any similar tanker proposals in the future.)

Our salmon—and the northern economy that depends on them—are now safer, as are the spirit bears, the humpback whales and all the delicate ecosystems of the north coast.

This, my friends, is a legendary achievement. Take time to celebrate, to savour the taste of victory. Don’t let the government’s reckless, irresponsible approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and the Petronas fracked gas plant undermine this victory – tomorrow we will work to stop Kinder Morgan and Petronas, today we celebrate!

To every one of Sierra Club BC’s incredible supporters: thank you. To every one of you who contributed to Pull Together: thank you. To the communities along the pipeline and tanker route who led the way for so many years: thank you. To every one of our friends and allies: thank you.
And most especially, to every one of the First Nations who stood resolute and strong in the face of the wealth and might of corporate and government power: thank you.

In particular, I want to name the Heiltsuk, Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Haida, Kitasoo-Xai’xais, Nadleh Whut’en, and Nak’azdli Nations, whose court cases overturned the federal approval of Enbridge and whose precedent will push governments in the right direction for years to come.

It was a privilege to witness their courage and determination and to support them (along with RAVEN Trust) through the Pull Together initiative, which raised more than $600,000 for legal costs. Theirs was true leadership and their example has shown us a path to victory in the coming fight to stop Kinder Morgan.

I believe that when historians look back at the death of the Enbridge pipeline, they will come to see it as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era in British Columbia.

There’s still much work to be done. Clearly, we have a federal government that doesn’t understand you can’t be a climate leader and build pipelines. Clearly, our provincial government, with its obsession with liquefied fracked gas, still doesn’t get it.

But this was a landmark moment, make no mistake.

History is on our side. The end of fossil fuels is inevitable. The only question is when we are not just celebrating the end of a pipeline, but the end of an era.

The Enbridge victory, above all, gives me hope. It shows the power of everyday people. It shows what we can achieve when we come together. It shows the path to the kind of future we all want: one powered by truly clean, renewable energy; one that respects nature and lives within her limits; one that respects indigenous governance; and one that makes sure no one is left behind by a post-carbon world.

Take some time to celebrate! Just look what we can do, when we stand together. I am filled with hope for what we will do next. We stopped one pipeline, we can stop another one.

Sierra Club BC statement on BC Opposition proposal to ban trophy hunting of grizzly bears

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 25, 2016

Sierra Club BC’s campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon released the following statement in response to the provincial NDP’s pledge to implement a ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears:

“Sierra Club BC advocates an end to the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. We recognize and respect the ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears that First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest have already implemented in their territories.

“We commend the announcement from the BC Opposition that they will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Killing bears for sport is wasteful, opposed by a strong majority of British Columbians, and bad for our economy. These bears are worth more to our economy alive than dead.

“While their announcement will require a significant investment in monitoring and enforcement, in order to ensure trophy hunters don’t simply pretend to hunt for food, the announcement is an important step in the right direction and, if implemented, is good news for these majestic bears.”

For more information on the importance of a trophy hunting ban, visit BearsForever.ca.

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Contact:

Caitlyn Vernon

Director of Campaigns, Sierra Club BC

(250) 386 5255

Bella Bella Disaster a Reminder of the Need for a Strong Tanker Ban

The recent sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart tug near Bella Bella in the Great Bear Rainforest has underscored the urgency of a permanent, legislated oil tanker ban. Accidents happen and this disaster is a sobering reminder that oil spills are impossible to clean up.

Response crews took over 20 hours to arrive and the spill has still not been contained three weeks later. Beaches remain soaked with diesel and littered with debris. Clean-up efforts have been sluggish and greatly hampered by storms, which have caused containment booms to fail.

Members of the Heiltsuk Nation have consistently described the spill response as “totally inadequate.” Their nation’s waters have been polluted with hundreds of thousands of litres of diesel fuel. Their clam and seafood beds are closed indefinitely, costing them tens of thousands of dollars in the short-term as well as long-term damage to their economy. Video updates and ways to support can be found on the Heiltsuk Tribal Council’s Facebook page.

heiltsuk-bella-bella-spill_kyle-artelle_forweb

A contaminated beach leaches diesel back into the marine environment. Photo by Kyle Artelle.

Although many may see this as a relatively small spill, it has already and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on the Heiltsuk. Sierra Club BC and many other organizations stand in solidarity with the Heiltsuk Nation, who are now caught between a provincial and a federal government too busy blaming each other to make any concrete policy changes that could prevent another devastating spill.

This is a heartbreaking nightmare. Trudeau needs to wake up and take his election commitments for a tanker ban and for a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples seriously.

The Heiltsuk Nation are calling for an immediate implementation of a full and complete tanker ban. A strong tanker ban is the only sure way to protect B.C.’s coastal waters and wild salmon economy from a devastating oil spill. The federal government is about to make an announcement on a federal tanker moratorium, and we need to ensure it is strong, permanent, and legislated by Parliament.

That’s why we’ve set up an action centre where you can submit a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Garneau. Please send a message calling on them to implement a strong tanker ban on B.C.’s coast.

Coastal First Nations already have a ban on oil tankers, using their own laws. It’s about time we joined them to help put an end to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline and tankers project. Please donate to help us continue this fight.

 

Cover image of diesel-soaked beach by Kyle Artelle.

B.C. Groups Win Prestigious Buckminster Fuller Design Award for Role in Safeguarding Great Bear Rainforest

Fuller Challenge Award 2016 goes to Rainforest Solutions Project, a project of Tides Canada Initiative with Greenpeace, Stand.earth and Sierra Club BC

October 5, 2016

Vancouver, BC – British Columbia’s Rainforest Solutions Project (a project of Tides Canada) with member groups Greenpeace, Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) and Sierra Club BC has won the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s (BFI) Fuller Challenge Award for their role in crafting and implementing solutions for the recently finalized Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. The BFI is a prestigious cross-disciplinary academy dedicated to solving global problems through design-thinking education. This $100,000 award specifically recognizes the innovation in complex process design that the three member organizations worked collectively and collaboratively to develop.

For over fifteen years the three groups worked together with the forest industry, First Nations governments and the Government of British Columbia to troubleshoot barriers and develop solutions for safeguarding the Great Bear Rainforest. The outcome is a new legal and policy framework that concurrently advances First Nations governance and economic aspirations over their territories, high levels of conservation, and logging activity which respects nature’s limits.

Eighty-five per cent (3.1 million hectares) of the region’s coastal temperate rainforests will be permanently off limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15 per cent (550,000 hectares) will be subject to the most stringent legal standards for commercial logging operations in North America.

“Thank you to the Fuller Challenge for believing in our collective work to help safeguard this spectacular region, home to more than two dozen Indigenous communities who have stewarded their traditional lands since time immemorial. This award further validates our solutions model for large-scale forest conservation, uplifting Indigenous rights and fighting climate change,” says Greenpeace’s Eduardo Sousa. “ We’ve learned that breakthroughs are possible, but only through constructive dialogue and steadfast collaboration. We believe what has been achieved here in the Great Bear Rainforest can inspire other forest regions facing their own challenges.”

“Everywhere we look we see the environment, the economy and Indigenous people pitted against each other. It’s not a coincidence, it’s systemic. The model of management now operating in the Great Bear required prying open that system and then inventing what would replace it”, says Valerie Langer with Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics). “It took villages to do so and our unwavering dedication to see the change through multiple scales across multiple jurisdictions.”

The Fuller Challenge Selection Committee noted that by collaborating and innovating solutions with Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and industry, the Rainforest Solutions Project member organizations demonstrated “the importance of large-scale and long-term comprehensive design thinking.”

“This award is a big motivator for us to build on the Great Bear Rainforest solutions. What has been accomplished offers us a compass to guide us toward solving similar conflicts elsewhere: science-based decision-making, aligning with nature’s limits, respecting Indigenous rights, and collaboration between governments and stakeholders. This is the approach we must pursue globally and with urgency, to save the life-support system of our planet, the web of life and our own species.” says Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC.

The Rainforest Solutions Project’s members Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC and Stand.earth together with Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative, Nanwakolas Council, the Government of British Columbia, BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper, Howe Sound Pulp & Paper, International Forest Products and Western Forest Products, worked hard to move from conflict to a shared outcome rooted in 15 years of collaboration and negotiation. As of February 2016, the vision for conservation and community well-being committed to in 2006 is now underway with legal and policy agreements.

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Media Contacts:

Tim Pearson, 250.896.1556, tim@sierraclub.bc.ca

Eduardo Sousa, 778-378-9955, esousa@greenpeace.org

Valerie Langer, 604-307-6448, valerie@stand.earth

Read more about the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements

Feature image by Andrew S. Wright

Sierra Club BC wins prestigious award

Sierra Club BC is proud to announce that we have been awarded one of the most prestigious international environmental awards for our work on the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements.

Great Bear Rainforest Agreement partners receive Sierra Club US’s 2016 EarthCare Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 9, 2016

First Nations governments, the B.C. government and a group of environmental organizations and forestry companies will tomorrow receive the 2016 EarthCare Award from Sierra Club US. With 2.4 million members, Sierra Club US is one of the largest environmental organizations in North America (and independent from Sierra Club BC and Sierra Club Canada).

The EarthCare award honours individuals or organizations that have made a unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.

The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest remaining relatively intact temperate rainforest areas of the world.   Fulfilment of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements was announced February 1, 2016 in Vancouver. Eighty-five percent of the remote wilderness region’s coastal temperate rainforests are now permanently off-limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15 percent of the forest are subject to the most stringent commercial logging legal standards in North America. First Nations oversight of their lands has been strengthened and new community development opportunities negotiated as a result of the government-to-government implementation process.

“The loss of biodiversity and natural ecosystems is a global crisis, and the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements are offering us a precedent-setting conservation model the world can learn from,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “These Agreements show us how to achieve an economy that respects both indigenous rights and nature’s limits.”

The Great Bear Rainforest Agreements protect biodiversity, help mitigate climate change, support improved community well-being, and provide a level of economic certainty to the forestry sector. The Agreements are considered a milestone for collaboration between indigenous and non-indigenous governments, environmental organizations and forestry companies.

“The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure and now that it is set aside, it will be a landscape of hope where economic activity can occur without undermining the environment,” said Bob Peart, executive director of Sierra Club BC. “The Agreements provide an astonishing example of land use planning that balances many important values.”

After years of intense conflict, collaboration and negotiation, the new model of conservation management is informed by science, First Nations rights over their lands, and stakeholder input. The goal of this unique conservation approach is to maintain healthy forests and high levels of community well-being across the entire 6.4 million hectare Great Bear Rainforest, an area larger than Nova Scotia.

The Agreements were announced by indigenous alliances Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council and the province of British Columbia, with the support of three environmental groups—Sierra Club BC, Greenpeace and Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics)—and five companies as stakeholder groups (Interfor, Western Forest Products, BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper).

All parties involved are committed to Annual Monitoring reports and a five-year and ten-year review mechanism.

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For more information about the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements:
http://www.savethegreatbear.org/resources/category/updates

 

Contact:

Tim Pearson

Director of Communications, Sierra Club BC

250-896-1556

 

Image by Jens Wieting

Sierra Club BC’s Google Earth Tool Shows Vancouver Island Old-growth in State of Emergency

September 28, 2016 – Eighty per cent of delegates attending the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention have passed a motion to protect old-growth forests on Vancouver Island from logging. They have further resolved that the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) write to the BC government calling for an amendment to the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan to protect the remaining old-growth forest on provincial Crown land. Sierra Club BC campaigns director made the following statement on the resolution:

“We commend and support all of the municipal leaders, business leaders, and community champions who are speaking up for the ecological and economic values of big old trees. Today’s vote shows that communities all across this province understand that Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth rainforest is a global treasure, and that its protection is a provincial responsibility.

We will continue to work together with our allies to protect Vancouver Island’s remaining old-growth rainforest, and call on the provincial government to update the Vancouver Island land use plan to include consideration of climate impacts and Aboriginal title and rights.”

Sierra Club BC’s Google Earth Tool Shows Vancouver Island Old-growth in State of Emergency

We have developed a Google Earth file, that shows old-growth coastal rainforest has reached a state of ecological emergency across vast parts of Vancouver Island and B.C.’s South Coast. (See below for instructions on how to use the file.)

The Google Earth file, which can be studied with free Google Earth software, shows how little ancient forest is left as a result of decades of industrial logging.

The Google Earth file reveals that almost half (46 per cent) of the landscape units now have less than 30 per cent of productive old-growth remaining.  (Landscape units are areas of land used for long-term forest planning, usually 50,000 to 100,000 hectares.) Seventeen per cent of the landscape units have less than 10 per cent productive old-growth rainforest remaining.

Large part of the Walbran remains intact. Photo by TJ Watt

Large part of the Walbran remains intact.
Photo by TJ Watt

Experts consider 30 per cent the threshold for ‘high ecological risk’ of loss of species. With climate change exerting additional pressure, endangered species such as the Marbled Murrelet are experiencing compounding stresses and are threatened with extirpation or extinction.

Sierra Club BC is calling for immediate action by the provincial government to protect and restore endangered coastal rainforest ecosystems, before intensifying climate impacts like drought, wildfires and storms coupled with destructive logging practices further exacerbate pressure on ecosystems.

Remaining largely intact rainforest areas, such as the Central Walbran and the Klaskish River/East Creek need immediate conservation steps to save habitat for endangered species and restore second-growth forest to allow for connectivity.

Unless the provincial government changes course and protects what remains of our endangered old-growth, much of the southern coast could turn into an ecological wasteland this century. We must protect and restore our rainforests now, for species, for clean air, clean water, long term forestry jobs and as one of the world’s most efficient carbon sinks.

Photo by TJ Watt

How to use the Sierra Club BC Google Earth file

Explore how the software works, download and install the free version of Google Earth: http://www.google.com/earth/

Download the Sierra Club BC Google Earth file.

Open the file and zoom into the 155 landscape units of Vancouver Island and South Coast (landscape units are areas of land used for long-term forest planning, usually 50,000 to 100,000 hectares).

The Google Earth file (and the Sierra Club BC map) shows the remaining percentage of productive old-growth for all landscape units on Vancouver Island and the South Coast. These are rainforest ecosystems that typically grow relatively big trees (good and medium productivity forest) and store record amounts of carbon, but are also of high interest for logging.

GEfile0

The file reveals that almost half (46 per cent) of the landscape units now have less than 30 per cent of productive old-growth remaining.  Seventeen per cent of the landscape units have less than 10 per cent productive old-growth rainforest remaining. For more information read our backgrounder.

If you click into one of the landscape units, a box shows up with the following information: name of the landscape unit, the total number of hectares of forest in it (some of the area could be non-forest like wetlands etc.), the number of hectares covered by productive forest (good and medium productivity), the number of hectares that remain old-growth, as well as the corresponding % value.

The Google Earth file also shows boundaries of parks (this allows to distinguish areas that are protected from unprotected areas within a landscape unit, for example in the Walbran). This layer can be found in the “Primary database”under “More” (second item; see lower left corner of the first screenshot on this page)

Here is an example:  The Walbran landscape unit contains 30,380 hectares of forest, 27,634 hectares are productive forest (good and medium productivity), 19,576 hectares remain old-growth (71%), which makes the Walbran landscape unit the only one remaining in the entire South Coast with this amount of productive, intact old-growth forest.

walbran screen

We can’t do this work without you! Please help us protect Vancouver Island’s last remaining old-growth.

A Personal Perspective on the realization of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements

By Bob Peart

In the late 1980’s I commented on the proposed forest harvesting plans for what was then termed the Inside Passage or Mid-Coast Timber Supply Area, now known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

On Monday, I witnessed the announcement of the final steps of the historic Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. After over a decade of negotiations, the B.C. provincial government, First Nations, a group of forestry companies and environmental organizations reached agreement that 85 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest will be protected from harvesting through a combination of protected areas – primarily conservancies respecting First Nations traditional uses and the stringent application of ecosystem-based management principles.

The Great Bear Rainforest is a global treasure and now that it is set aside can be a landscape of hope where economic activity can occur that is aligned with nature’s limits.

As the ceremony unfolded, I found myself reflecting back on the 40 years I have been involved in conservation and land use issues.

Consider the anger and emotions that led to the ‘war in the woods’ in the 70s and 80s and the subsequent huge effort put into the land use planning throughout the 90s by government, industry and communities. These processes led to such iconic areas as the Tatshenshini, the Stein, the Kitlope, the Khutzeymateen, the Horseranch and Chilcotins being legally protected.

In turn, we mustn’t forget the tumultuous times around Clayoquot Sound, and the dogged patience of those folks in the Fort St. John region who spent seven years negotiating the establishment of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.

These processes and the countless hours that people spent at the various negotiating tables all over the province has led to about 15 per cent of the province now being legally protected from industrial development, a truly momentous achievement.

As each of these processes were being undertaken over the decades, scientific understanding has evolved as has the understanding of, and respect for First Nations title and rights – which in turn shaped the next set of negotiations.

It seems hard to fathom but not that long ago, government would set aside lands as parks with little sense of ecological integrity, and no concern for First Nation title and rights.

Today, land use planning brings local people into the conversations, and seeks to honour First Nations’ rights, cultures and practices and to integrate principles of core protection and landscape connectivity into the picture.

The Great Bear Rainforest Agreements provide an astonishing example of land use planning that defends nature, strengthens indigenous communities, honours the people who live there and accommodates economic activities without undermining the environment.

It is almost impossible for me to fathom the countless hours and energy that have been spent piecing these agreements. Let us all congratulate the people who were involved in negotiating the Great Bear Agreements and honour how this important accomplishment will help ensure a future for the people, wildlife and ecosystems of the coastal temperate rainforest. My hat is off to Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC’s Forest and Climate Campaigner who has worked doggedly on this file close to a decade, as well as to his colleagues with ForestEthics Solutions, Greenpeace and the Rainforest Solutions Project formed by our three organizations.

Final Agreement Will Permanently Safeguard 85 Percent of Great Bear Rainforest Stronger First Nations Control, Strict Forestry Rules for Remainder

VANCOUVER, British Columbia ─ February 1, 2016

Today First Nations governments and the BC government, with the support of ForestEthics Solutions, Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC and five forestry companies, announced the fulfilment of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements. Eighty-five percent (3.1 million hectares) of the remote wilderness region’s coastal temperate rainforests are now permanently off-limits to industrial logging. The remaining 15 percent (550,000 hectares) of the forest will be subject to the most stringent commercial logging legal standards in North America. First Nations oversight of their lands has been strengthened and new community development opportunities negotiated as a result of the government-to-government implementation process.

The fulfillment of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements, announced within days of the launch 10 years ago, will protect biodiversity and help mitigate climate change, support improved community well-being, and provide economic certainty to the forestry sector.The success of the Agreements represents a milestone for collaboration between governments, the environmental organizations and forestry companies.

“The Great Bear Rainforest Agreements is one of the most visionary forest conservation plans on Earth,” says Valerie Langer, ForestEthics Solutions Director. “It is a principled approach that sets a new legal and science-based standard for sustaining healthy forests and maintains intact, old-growth that will keep millions of tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere.”

“The realization of the Agreements proves their value as a model for collaboration, conservation, communities and climate action” says Jens Wieting, forest and climate campaigner for Sierra Club BC. “Implementation of the Agreements strengthens the resilience of communities and secures the ecological integrity of an ancient and vastly rich network of forests, fjords and islands twice the size of Vancouver Island.”

“Today is the culmination of 20 years of campaigning for the Great Bear Rainforest. The completion of this marathon would not have been possible without the incredible leadership of the rainforest’s First Nations leaders,” says Richard Brooks, Greenpeace’s Forest Campaign Coordinator. “From conflict to collaboration, we now celebrate the protection of areas of cultural and ecological importance while ensuring economic opportunities for the communities exist long into the future.”

After five years of intense conflict, followed by 15 years of intensive collaboration and negotiation, the new model of conservation management is informed by science, First Nations rights over their lands, and stakeholder input. The goal of this unique conservation approach is to maintain healthy forests and high levels of community well-being across the entire 6.4 million hectare Great Bear Rainforest, an area the size of Nova Scotia.

BC’s coastal old-growth rainforests store record high amounts of carbon per hectare accumulated over thousands of years and continue to sequester carbon. Increased protection of old-growth forests will result in an immediate reduction of carbon losses from logging.

The five members of the industry group that worked together with the environmental organizations as stakeholders to support the process are Interfor Corporation, Western Forest Products, BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. All parties involved are committed to Annual Monitoring reports and a five-year and ten-year review mechanism.

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For more information:

For backgrounder:http://www.savethegreatbear.org/resources/category/updates

 

Contacts:

Valerie Langer, Senior Campaigner, ForestEthics Solutions
valerie@forestethicssolutions.org, 604-307-6448

Jens Wieting, Forest and Climate Campaigner, Sierra Club BC
jens@sierraclub.bc.ca, 604-354-5312

Richard Brooks, Forest Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace Canada
richard.brooks@greenpeace.org, 1-416-573-7209