Rainforest Solutions Project

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


Rainforest campaign showered with support

September 22, 2005

Members of Vancouver’s retail community are standing tall behind a push to help preserve a large chunk of the so-called Great Bear Rainforest.

Stores like Aveda, Capers and Mountain Equipment Co-op are reaching out to their customers through the Rainforest Solutions Project’s “Stand Tall” campaign. It urges customers to fax Premier Gordon Campbell, asking him to sign an agreement that would increase protection of the area and change logging practices.

Located in B.C.’s Central Coast, the rainforest is home to the spirit bear, a rare, genetically unique white sub-species of the black bear.

“What is monumental about the Great Bear Rainforest Solutions is the diversity of parties that are all asking the government to increase protection and change loggingpractices,” said Amanda Carr of Greenpeace.

Depending on the store, participation ranges from employees wearing Stand Tall T-shirts to making room in the store for emmbers of the Rainforest Solutions Project to spread their message.

“These retailers are allowing the vision for the Great Bear Rainforest to get into the homes of British Columbians. And we’re really seeing a response,” said Carr, adding that 100 faxes have been sent to the premier every day of the two-weekoldcampaign.

Tim Southam, spokesman for Mountain Equipment Co-op, (MEC) said the advocacy campaign is in keeping with the company’s commitment to social and environmental leadership. He added that MEC’s advocacy was not a business consideration, but rather was what the store “believes is the right thing to do.”

Carr, however, says the “greenward” shift of many progressive companies is good for business.