Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
From fishery management to forest protection, the environmentalist vs. industry frame is often a roadblock to sustainable practices. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In Canada, environmentalists, logging companies, and First Nations people came together to create a management plan for the Great Bear Rainforest. This stretch of the British Columbia coast is part of the largest old-growth temperate rainforests on earth. The process “started with the companies and the environmental groups realizing they had more to gain through negotiating than through fighting,” The Tyee reported.
The agreement, finalized in 2016, sets aside 85% of the forest as off-limits to logging. The remaining area open to forestry must follow management rules that protect waterways, endangered species, and cultural values. And, importantly, First Nations people now have decision-making powers on their own land.
Why This Matters: In order to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we must protect 30% of our land and oceans by 2030. The Great Bear Rainforest is a model for centering indigenous stewardship, creating new protected land, and establishing sustainable industries in surrounding areas. It’s also a success story that proves protecting biodiversity doesn’t come at the expense of jobs. First Nations’ sustainable development projects, supported by a government grant, created more than 1,000 jobs, from wildlife surveyors to ecolodge employees.
First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest have created “a road-map for how we can sustain the most ecologically significant places on the planet while enhancing the well-being of the people who have lived in those places for thousands of years.” the fund’s board chair, Huux Percy Crosby of the Haida Nation told MongaBay last year. “This model can and must be replicated across the globe.”
Expanding Protections, On the Ground and in the Law: Protections for the Great Bear Rainforest were designated to include all of the different habitat types and covers more than 20,000 square km — more than twice the size of Yellowstone. The agreement quadrupled the protected area of the rainforest. It also created a new type of protected area, since the current models didn’t codify respect for First Nations traditional uses and cultural values or that natural resources would continue to support their cultural and economic needs. In action, this new designation means that First Nations co-develop management plans for the protected area.
Want to see some beautiful footage of Great Bear? There’s an IMAX documentary — narrated by Ryan Reynolds — all about it. Maybe skip the big screen for now and watch the videos available online.
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The giant sequoia trees in California’s Sequoia National Park are over 1,000 years old and could live another 2,000 years, but climate change-fueled fires are killing them. The trees can usually withstand the flames, but the intensity of recent fires has been overpowering. Last year’s Castle Fire killed up […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor As wildfires and deforestation grip the Amazon rainforest, Indigenous communities are urging world governments to pledge to protect 80% of the forest by 2025. The groups launched their campaign at a biodiversity conference in France, where experts from around the world are laying the groundwork for the UN’s delayed […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A new assessment found that at least 30% of the world’s 60,000 tree species are nearing extinction in the wild. The number of tree species threatened— 17,500— is twice that of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles combined. Why this Matters: Trees are crucial to maintaining the earth’s ecosystems. Trees not […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.