Rainforest Solutions Project

Promoting conservation and economic alternatives in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest


Conservation boost for Great Bear Rainforest

February 9, 2006

Canada’s British Columbian Government has won praise this week by pledging to increase conservation at the Great Bear Rainforest, following sustained campaigning from environmental groups. The authority has vowed to fully protect two million hectares of the land, while improving the sustainability of logging practices elsewhere in the forest. Campaigners called the development a chance to make the area a ‘global model of forest sustainability’.

The area is home to numerous sensitive species, including the grizzly bears, black bears, white bears (sometimes called ‘Spirit’ bears), eagles and wolves, along with ancient cedar and spruce trees up to 1000 years old.

The improved conservation measures demand compliance with a strict ecosystem-based logging management system by 2009.

“Today’s decision is welcome news for the Great Bear Rainforest which was being destroyed at an alarming rate to feed a growing international appetite for wood, paper and toilet roll,” said Gavin Edwards, Global Forest Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace International. “The world’s last ancient forests need a global network of protected areas to survive – and the Great Bear Rainforest is a good start.”

“Today’s announcement plants the seeds to safeguard this global treasure but the true measure of success will be signs of change on the ground and in the forest,” added Amanda Carr, forest campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. “Greenpeace will be watching to see if the British Columbian Government follows through on these commitments and takes this opportunity to make the Great Bear Rainforest a global model of forest sustainability.”