Friday, January 26, 2007

Canada Coughs Up Cash For Great Bear Rainforest Deal

When activists took on a phone book company over 10 years ago for using paper from a portion of the coastal rainforest of British Columbia, they could only dream it would lead to such broad, permanent conservation for one of the most beautiful coastlines on earth. But this week, completing a key component of the historic conservation agreement to protect millions of hectares of forest in the Great Bear Rainforest, the Canadian government agreed to contribute $30 million (Canadian) to match $60 million from private investors and $30 million from the BC provincial government. This completed a key pillar of the agreement, the economic investment in sustainable economies for the region. Private funds will flow to a conservation endowment fund, dedicated solely to conservation management, science and stewardship jobs in First Nations’ communities. Public funds will be used for investments in ecologically-sustainable business ventures within First Nations’ territories or communities.

“The challenges of our age require innovative approaches that place a premium on a healthy environment. With today’s announcement we’re proving that conservation can attract investment and actually support jobs that won't threaten the living systems that we depend upon,” said Merran Smith, BC Coast Program Director, ForestEthics.

US Press Release

Canadian Press Release

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