Rainforest Solutions Project

Promoting conservation and economic alternatives in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest


Protected areas legislated on Haida Gwaii

January 13, 2009

(Vancouver, BC) – Environmental groups ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club BC welcome the legislation of nine new conservancies on Haida Gwaii on BC’s coast. With this move the Haida Nation and BC government are following through on their commitment to create more than 250,000 hectares of new protected areas as part of their land use agreement. The agreement doubles the amount of protected areas on Haida Gwaii with approximately half of the islands’ area protected.

Protected areas on Haida Gwaii and in the Central and North Coasts, known as the Great Bear Rainforest, combined are now covering 2.6 million hectares of coastal temperate rainforest, while new land management regulations cover the remaining 4.8 million hectares.

The conservancy designation is designed to protect the ecological values along with First Nations’ cultural values. As with the Central and North Coasts of British Columbia, the creation of new protected areas is accompanied by the implementation of new land management practices including new logging regulations for the forests outside the protected areas, called Ecosystem Based Management (EBM).

Additionally, resources to seed conservation based economic alternatives are available for local First Nations communities.

The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement announced in February 2006 would see the full implementation of Ecosystem Based Management, guided by the EBM Handbook, by March 31, 2009. Some of the key requirements for the new system to function are designation of new logging regulations and funding for collaborative planning and adaptive management into the future.