Rainforest Solutions Project

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

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Environmental Organizations Welcome Province and First Nations Great Bear Rainforest Commitments

posted by: RSP-Admin, March 31, 2014 at 2pm

Environmental organizations welcome Province and First Nations commitments to finalize conservation and human well being steps in the Great Bear Rainforest in 2014

VANCOUVER, B.C. ─ March 31, 2014

Greenpeace, ForestEthics Solutions and Sierra Club B.C. welcome the commitments received by letter today from the B.C. government and First Nations organizations – Great Bear Initiative and Nanwakolas Council – to deliver the remaining measures required for the final implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements by the end of 2014. The groups acknowledge the extension of the implementation process by several months from the March 31, 2014 date, announced in 2009, but anticipate that all parties will make fulfilling the commitments a high priority.

“The Great Bear Rainforest is a globally outstanding region. Considering the complexity of the work involved we understand that a certain amount of additional time is needed to properly finish what we all started years ago. Today’s letter is welcome, with solid commitments to prioritize completion by year’s end” said Eduardo Sousa, senior forest campaigner for Greenpeace Canada.

“Government leadership in completing the outstanding steps as soon as possible will be critically important to achieve the goal of ecological integrity without undermining habitat values for species like Grizzly Bear, Marbled Murrelet, Tailed Frog, Mountain Goat and Northern Goshawk.” said Jens Wieting, Forest and Climate Campaigner with Sierra Club BC.

“Eight years ago today B.C. secured a peace in these woods by committing to preserve the ecological health of the forests and improve the well being of the communities. Today we are in the homestretch, with commitments to complete this landmark conservation project in 2014. We believe this is important to communities, industry, markets, and our organizations alike, said Valerie Langer with ForestEthics Solutions. “Our organizations remain fully committed to seeing this through in 2014.”

The BC government and the region’s First Nations committed to a number of actions that they will undertake collaboratively over the course of the following months to meet the goals of the Agreements in achieving low ecological risk and high levels of human well-being by the end of 2014:

  • Amended draft legal logging rules which increase conservation of the rainforest by approximately 500,000 hectares, out for public comment period by September, and legislated by December

  • A package of additional human well-being initiatives for First Nations communities by December

  • Financial support for mapping new conservation methodology on the ground in three pilot areas

The Province and First Nations are currently reviewing joint recommendations to achieve final implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the Great Bear Rainforest. The recommendations were developed by the three participating environmental organizations and a group of forest companies who together form the Joint Solutions Project (JSP). They are a blueprint for the outstanding conservation and forest management steps for final implementation of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which was signed in 2006 by the provincial government, First Nations and endorsed by JSP.

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For more information, please contact:

Eduardo Sousa, Senior Forests Campaigner, Greenpeace

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 778-378-9955

Jens Wieting, Forest and Climate Campaigner, Sierra Club BC

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 604-354-5312

Valerie Langer, Senior Campaigner, ForestEthics Solutions

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 604-307-6448