ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club of Canada, along with industry leaders and indigenous groups, celebrated success after a decade long campaign to protect the globally unique Great Bear Rainforest. The total area protected from the chainsaw equals 5 million acres, twice the size of Yellowstone Park and equal to 6300 of New York’s Central Park. This total includes new and previous protection areas, plus special no logging zones that require the use of more sustainable logging practices for the remaining area. The agreement also sets a new precedent for decision making for local indigenous groups (First Nations), giving them the right to define what happens on their land.
To date, almost half of a $120 million investment package has been raised by philanthropic donors for conservation and sustainable business ventures in First Nation territories. The BC government has committed $30 million to First Nations for economic development. The coalition is hopeful that the federal government will join in this initiative.