A Great Spirit Bear captured on camera in the Great Bear Rainforest. Images like these are now part of a resource that fits B.C.’s Grade 7-9, touching on topics such as conservation. Photography by Natalie Bowes

Sustainable economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii have created a flourishing economy that “links a healthy environment with the prosperity and well-being of their communities,” according to a report released by Coast Funds earlier this month.

Coast Funds is a finance organization led by Indigenous peoples. From 2008-2018 funding from the group has led to more than $286 million in new investments in the region.

“First Nations are building on a long tradition of stewarding their territories for the benefit of current and future generations,” says Brodie Guy, executive director of Coast Funds. “The benefits are substantial, and together we are demonstrating that conservation finance led by Indigenous people is the key to protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems, such as the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.”

Coast Funds was established in 2006 out of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement – a deal with the provincial government to enshrine in legislation laws that protect 85 per cent of the region’s forest from the north of Vancouver Island to the Alaska Panhandle.

READ MORE: Great Bear Rainforest protection takes effect Jan. 1

The Coast Funds helped lead more than 200 species research and habitat restoration initiatives, 71 projects involving access to traditional foods, and 50 projects protecting cultural assets. They have also worked on economic development investments to support ecotourism projects, the sustainable aquaculture businesses, and the start-up of First Nations-run economic development corporations.

“First Nations investments in stewardship and sustainable development are having major impacts in communities across the coast.” said Huux Percy Crosby, of Haida Nation, board chair for Coast Funds. “They are creating a new conservation economy that protects this globally significant ecosystem for generations to come—a benefit that stretches far beyond the region.”

READ MORE: Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

The report goes on to list the results of the sustainable investment work done over the course of the decade:

  • More than 1000 permanent jobs have been created.
  • One hundred businesses have been expanded or developed.
  • Fourteen regional monitoring and Guardian Watchmen programs, operating across an average area of 2.5 million hectares annually, have been created, expanded, and sustained.

“Over the last 10 years First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii have created a road-map for how we can sustain the most ecologically significant places on the planet while enhancing the well-being of the people who have lived in those places for thousands of years,” said Crosby. “This model can and must be replicated across the globe.”

Coast Funds announced its findings from 10 years of conservation finance in a publication which can be read online.


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida hereditary chief named Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named Liberal candidate for the North Coast under Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson

$3.4 million childcare centre to be built in Lax Kw’alaams

Lax Kw’alaams funding has been approved through the provincial New Spaces Fund

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

World Maritime Day – Sept. 24

Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read