Coast Forest Conservation Initiative

Coast Forest Conservation Initiative

March 30, 2009 19:20 ET

Media Advisory: Major Milestone Reached for British Columbia's Coastal Temperate Rainforest

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 30, 2009) - Members of the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative (CFCI)(i) celebrate today's announcement marking the fulfillment of commitments made by the British Columbia government, First Nations and stakeholders in February 2006. At that time the Coast Land Use Decision ratified agreements covering the 64,000 square kilometre (an area as big as Ireland) Central and North Coast a region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

With today's announcement, a significantly increased measure of certainty has been achieved in sustaining a global treasure for future generations:

- One third of the region, or 2.1 million hectares, forms a regional protected areas system.

- Resource development of all kinds will be governed by a new approach known as ecosystem-based management, an adaptive system that seeks to concurrently secure high levels of ecological integrity and community wellbeing.

- A set of legal requirements governing forest development that establishes thresholds to foster ecological integrity.

- The positive contribution of environmentally appropriate forest products is being recognized internationally.

- Establishment of the $120 million Coast Opportunities Funds supporting economic development for First Nations.

- Governance led by the Province and First Nations.

This milestone was reached through the joint efforts of the provincial government, First Nations, local communities, business interests and a unique partnership between the CFCI and environmental groups including ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club BC.

(i) Member organizations of the CFCI include BC Timber Sales, Catalyst Paper Corporation, Canfor/Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Ltd., International Forest Products Limited and Western Forest Products Inc.

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