Friday, July 31, 2020

BC Government and Coastal First Nations to continue work on environment and to grow regional economy

The Province of BC and Coastal First Nations are expanding on their
work towards protection of the Great Bear Rainforest and economic
opportunity for communities of the alliance

The Provincial government and the Coastal First Nations have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will see both parties continue to expand on their work towards protection of the environment and improve the coastal economy.

Today's announcement builds on work done towards the Reconciliation Protocol of 2009 which offered protection to the Great Bear Rainforest and committed towards development of a sustainable economy.

“We’re working to advance reconciliation together with Coastal First Nations by supporting strong climate action that protects natural ecosystems, biodiversity and old-growth forests while increasing economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and supporting our CleanBC plan. This agreement builds on our shared commitment with Coastal First Nations to protect the iconic Great Bear Rainforest for future generations." -- North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice speaking to todays advancement on reconciliation work with Coastal First Nations

The new agreement outlines a long-term vision for B.C.’s mid- and northern coastal areas, guided by a shared belief in reconciliation, fiscal self-reliance and a collective responsibility to manage the natural environment in the face of climate change. This MOU provides a framework for continuing to protect the environment and increased economic development opportunities for Coastal First Nations communities.

As part of the memorandum, the Province and Coastal First Nations agree to pursue a conservation-based regional economy through a diverse set of initiatives to promote financial self-reliance. Initiatives include climate change and conservation, land and marine stewardship, including long-term marine use plans for B.C.’s north Pacific coast, economic development, connectivity and high-speed digital access.

“We look forward to working with the Province to rebuild a coastal economy, especially in these challenging COVID-19 times. As we continue our work towards reconciliation, it is imperative we continue to strengthen our government-to-government relationship. An integral part of our work together includes the Province’s commitment to supporting carbon-credit sales and the world-class work of our stewardship offices and guardian watchmen.” -- Chief Marilyn Slett, president, Coastal First Nations

Part of the program advanced today will see the province purchase carbon offsets from the Great Bear Rainforest carbon-offset projects, revenues from the offset sales will directly contribute to economic self sufficiency for local communities.

In addition to the background to the MOU, the province has offered up a video presentation to outline further some of the themes of their efforts for the Great Bear Rainforest.

The full terms of the Memorandum of Understanding can be reviewed here.

More on today's announcement, including a range of commentary from many of the First Nations leaders involved can be explored further here.

A wider overview of notes from the Legislature is available from our archive page.

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