Canada pledges $30 million for Great Bear Rainforest
January 22, 2007
Canada announced a $30 million plan to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, a 16-million-acre temperate rainforest on British Columbia’s Pacific coast. The forest is the largest intact temperate rainforest left on Earth and is home to the 290-foot (90 meter) tall Sitka spruce, black bears, grizzlies and eagles.
The move, announced Sunday by John Baird, the Canadian Minister of the Environment, comes on top of $60 million in private funding for conservation in the region.
“We know there is a strong link between a healthy ecosystem, a healthy society and Canada’s economic prosperity,” said Minister Baird. “This ambitious and collaborative initiative will achieve just that, and we are committed to work closely with First Nations and non-government organizations to bring it to life.”
Conservation groups applauded the decision.
“WWF applauds the hard work and collaborative efforts of First Nations, environmental groups, industry, communities and governments in this initiative aimed at the greater protection of B.C.’s globally significant coastal rainforests,” said Dr. Chris Elliot, WWF’s Pacific Region Vice-President. “The intended funding contribution announced today by Minister Baird is key to the successful implementation of the agreement and improved management of the coastal forests of British Columbia.”
In February 2006, an agreement between the provincial government and a coalition of conservationists, loggers, hunters, and indigenous groups established a 4.4 million acre park (18,000 square kilometer) in the Great Bear Rainforest. The agreement also called for sustainable forest management of an additional 11.6 million acres (46,900 sq km).
This article used information from Canada’s Office of the Minister of the Environment.