In the mid-1990s, the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia -- the ancestral territory of many First Nations communities and the home to iconic species such as the Spirit Bear -- was under threat. In fact, less than 5% of the rainforest was protected.
But today, after 20 years of campaigning that took Greenpeace from conflict to collaboration, the seemingly impossible has been achieved: One of the world’s largest remaining coastal temperate rainforests has been safeguarded!
A joint announcement was made announced on Feb 1st, by the governments of British Columbia and the region’s First Nations confirming:
85% of the forests within the Great Bear Rainforest, totaling an incredible 3.1 million hectares, will now be off limits to industrial logging. This is equal to an area the size of Vancouver Island!
The remaining , strictly limited to a fixed area.
First Nations will now share decision-making with the BC government over land use in their traditional territories -- in the form of legal requirements to maintain areas of cultural, ecological and economic significance to the region’s First Nations.
As a community dedicated to social justice and the preservation of our planet, The Kelowna Unitarians are thrilled to see this materialization of this history-making collaborative agreement!
Could this ground-breaking model be the beginning of a global groundswell to save some of our most precious resources, the treasured forest regions of the world?