On June 6, concerned local residents demonstrated outside seventeen MLA offices and demanded immediate action to protect BC forests.
The federal government finally announced that we are in a climate emergency. The next day, they approved the Trans Mountain tarsands pipeline expansion.
This month, Bill C-48 – the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act – and Bill C-69 – the Impact Assessment Act – both finally became law!
Thursday May 23
6:30pm – 9:00pm
Fernwood Community Centre Gym (1240 Gladstone Avenue)
Lekwungen Territory (Victoria)
Join us for a town hall on the Green New Deal at the Fernwood Community Centre gym.
The Green New Deal is a bold vision for tackling climate change and inequality at the same time. That means totally re-organizing our economy to run on 100% renewable energy, creating millions of jobs, respecting the rights, title, and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples, and enshrining dignity, justice, and equity for all.
The week of May 20 there will be town halls across the country to crowdsource ideas for what a Canadian Green New Deal could actually look like. We have the opportunity to define what it means for our community here in Victoria. We can lobby for massive government investment but we can also start changing the economy ourselves.
We invite people from all walks of life and all movements — Indigenous communities, anti-racist activists, the labour movement, faith groups, anti-povery activists, environmentalists, and everyday people — to come to the town hall and shape this vision. Bring your friends and neighbours.
Featured Image: Rise and Resist
Friday May 10
6:30pm – 9:00pm
Native Sons Hall (360 Cliffe Avenue)
K’ómoks Territory (Courtenay)
Please join Sierra Club BC, the Wilderness Committee and local Comox Valley activists for an evening of presentations on the climate crisis, the state of old-growth and second-growth forests on Vancouver Island and how these two relate to each other, followed by group discussions about how we can build a just and sustainable future in the Valley and across the Island!
Climate change and decades of mismanagement of forests in and around the Comox Valley are and will continue to be major challenges into the future. How can we build interest in meaningful change on both these interconnected issues simultaneously, and with the speed required? How can we do this in a way that benefits everyone and respects the sovereignty of the First Nations in whose territories we live?
These are the questions we want to dive into.
All perspectives are welcome, and we want to issue a challenge that everyone interested taking part in this conversation: try to bring one other person who may not otherwise attend an event like this!
The Wilderness Committee and Sierra Club BC will be on the road during the first two weeks of May, documenting old-growth forests and logging, meeting with First Nations, local governments and communities up and down Vancouver Island.
The meeting will be held in the Lodge Rooms in the lower level of the Native Sons Hall in downtown Courtenay.
**This event is being organized on the unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
Feature image: Andrew S. Wright
March 11, 2019
Retired government forest ecologist Jim Pojar and Skeena Wild have just released a report on forestry and carbon. The report refutes some common myths and shows why the protection of old-growth forests is critical in sequestering carbon and addressing climate change. The report, entitled “Forestry and Carbon in BC,” has been reviewed by UNBC academics and independent researchers.
Pojar, who worked for the BC forest service for 25 years, has also written an opinion piece debunking these common myths. You can read and share it here.
BC’s forest management is making climate change worse—an alarming situation when our forests should instead be our best ally in the fight against climate change. Unless the BC government wakes up and takes far-reaching action to strengthen conservation and improve forest management, our provincial forests will continue to contribute to climate change instead of slowing it down.
The massive and growing forest emissions from our province are a result of destructive logging, pine beetle outbreaks and wildfires. BC’s forests used to absorb more carbon than they released until the early 2000s when they became a net source of carbon.
The situation has gotten much worse in the last two years. Both the 2017 and 2018 wildfires burned more than 1.2 million hectares of the province, eight times more than the ten year average. Combined with skyrocketing emissions from fires and a reduced ability of damaged forests to sequester carbon, the province must expect more than 200 million tonnes of “uncounted” annual carbon dioxide emissions from BC’s forests, once data becomes available for 2017 and 2018.
The government should be setting and delivering on targets for protection of carbon rich old-growth, timelines to phase out slash burning, and ensuring all communities at risk of wildfires are fully participating in Fire Smart programs.
Phasing out logging of carbon rich endangered old-growth forest will result in immediate emission reductions, as demonstrated with the Great Bear Rainforests Agreements. Improving management of second-growth forests and moving from destructive practices to careful logging allows for both the production of wood products and an increase in the amount of carbon stored in forests at the same time. This means more jobs and less damage per cubic metre. These steps must be integrated in provincial strategies like CleanBC and the coast revitalization initiative.
BC’s hidden and uncounted forest emissions in 2017 and 2018 will be three times higher than the province’s total officially reported emissions. These growing forest carbon losses and steps to reduce them are summarized in the Sierra Club BC report Hidden, ignored and growing: B.C.’s forest carbon emissions.
Feature image: Andrew S. Wright