Following this video, please find press releases from the government and the opposition. Please feel free to leave your comments! And, speaking of saving rainforests, David Evans from the Stick is still raising funds for a Walbran sign on Pat Bay.
First, the government press release
Globally significant landmark agreement reached
First Nations, environmental groups and coastal forest industry representatives joined the Province today to celebrate achieving ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest.
The Great Bear Rainforest was established through land-use decisions announced in 2006. This globally unique area covers 6.4 million hectares on British Columbia’s north and central coast, and is home to 26 separate First Nations. Ecosystem-based management in the area is defined as “concurrent achievement of high levels of ecological integrity and high levels of human well-being.”
Under the new Great Bear Rainforest land-use order, ecological integrity is achieved through increasing the amount of protected old-growth forest to 70% from 50%. As well, eight new special forest management areas covering almost 295,000 hectares will be off-limits to logging. Six may receive additional protection based on ongoing discussions with First Nations. With the new measures, 85% of the forest will be protected and 15% will be available for logging, supporting local jobs.
The land-use order also addresses First Nations’ cultural heritage resources, freshwater ecosystems and wildlife habitat. The amount of habitat protected for the marbled murrelet, northern goshawk, grizzly bear, mountain goat and tailed frog will increase as new reserves required by the order are developed.
The Province has signed reconciliation protocols with the Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council. Through these government-to-government relationships, separate human well-being agreements have been reached to address issues of special concern to each group of First Nations. Most notably, both have an increased stake in the forest sector. The commercial grizzly bear hunt will cease in Coastal First Nations’ traditional territories.
The Province has committed to amending atmospheric benefit-sharing agreements with Nanwakolas and Coastal First Nations. This will increase the forest carbon credits they can use to support implementation of ecosystem-based management and community development projects of importance to them.
Because of the uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest and the innovative elements in the new and amended agreements, the B.C. government intends to introduce supporting legislation in spring 2016.
- In 2006, the coastal land use decision protected up to 2.1 million hectares of the 6.4-million-hectare Great Bear Rainforest – an area equivalent in size to Ireland.
- In 2009, First Nations, the Province, environmental groups and coastal forest companies agreed to a five-year review of the implementation of ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest.
- In 2010 and 2011, the Province reached reconciliation protocols with the Coastal First Nations and Nanwakolas Council.
- Great Bear Rainforest land use order:https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/TasB/SLRP/GBR_LUO_2016.html
- Link to video: https://youtu.be/nWtvgIUaerY
- Link to factsheet: http://www.naturallywood.com/resource/great-bear-rainforest-factsheet
Next, the release from the NDP
Horgan calls Great Bear Rainforest agreement ‘a tremendous achievement’
B.C. New Democrat Leader, John Horgan, issued the following statement on the signing of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement:
“The Great Bear Rainforest agreement is a tremendous achievement for all involved. First Nations, environmental organizations, local communities and the forest industry should be commended for continuing to work towards finalizing this landmark agreement.
“We are proud to have played a role in starting the process when the New Democrats were in government.
“The agreement shows how important it is to have the full involvement of First Nations when determining the future of B.C.’s environment, resources, culture and economy. Too often, Premier Christy Clark leaves First Nations behind in pursuit of her political agenda.”
What do you think? Leave your comments below.
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