Victoria, First Nations ink environmental, economic MOU

Carbon offsets projects planned for Great Bear Rainforest

Victoria and Coastal First Nations (CFN), an alliance of eight First Nations on the north and central coast and Haida Gwaii, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue and expand their work to protect the environment and boost the regional economy.

The MOU builds on a 2009 reconciliation protocol to protect the Great Bear Rainforest and develop a sustainable economy.

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Victoria has also signed a new five-year agreement to purchase carbon offsets from the Great Bear Rainforest carbon-offset projects.

"As we continue our work towards reconciliation, it is imperative we continue to strengthen our government-to-government relationship” CFN president Chief Marilyn Slett said.

 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."

The agreement outlines a long-term vision to manage and protect B.C.'s mid- and northern coastal areas in the face of climate change as well as increasing economic development opportunities for CFN communities.

Under the MOU, the parties agree to pursue a conservation-based regional economy through initiatives promoting financial self-reliance, climate change and conservation, land and marine stewardship, economic development, connectivity and high-speed digital access.

The carbon-offset projects, collectively covering an area greater than six million hectares, protect existing carbon stocks through ecosystem-based forestry management. Revenues are planned to support local economic self-sufficiency.


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