Caption: The ancient rainforests within Clayoquot Sound contain some of the oldest and largest living organisms that have ever existed in Earth’s known history. #WORTHMORESTANDING
Image Credit: AJ Roulstone @ajroulstone
Aiming to Protect 30% of Land and Sea in BC by 2030
In November, a $1.1 billion BC Nature Agreement was announced by the BC First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) with support from the federal and provincial governments. The historic funding agreement aims to enable BC to reach its minimum target of protecting 30% of land and water by 2030 through Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). This is the largest provincial protected areas fund in Canada to date, with Ottawa contributing $500 million and the provincial government contributing more than $560 million.
“With mutual recognition of First Nations as the original stewards and title holders to our lands and waters, we have reached a jointly developed framework with sustained funding to achieve our collective goals for biodiversity protection, restoration and stewardship,” reflected Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief. “We’ve experienced this past year, unprecedented drought, unprecedented wildfire season in Canada’s history, and the province’s history. And certainly part of that is conserving biodiverse areas in our respective territories, and in British Columbia,”
Clayoquot Sound has been included as part of the 2.6 million hectares identified as top priorities for logging deferrals by the BC government. Logging has been deferred locally since 2020 to enable the local Ahousant, Hesquiaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht Nations to develop the visions for their respective territories. The ancient rainforest ecosystems are vital to Indigenous cultures, while providing climate stability and clean water, and supporting unique and endangered species like wild salmon. Not to forget, the forests are also critical to a multi-billion dollar tourism industry in BC.
Over 80% of the original old-growth forests have already been logged and 5 million hectares of big trees, rare trees, and the very oldest trees remain unprotected in BC. In terms of providing a climate and biodiversity solution, time is of the essence to protect what’s left of the old growth forests globally.