ForestEthics believes that one of the best ways to create environmentally responsible local economies that marries conservation with economic well-being, is to support communities in creating businesses models that don’t rely on clearcut logging and other destructive practices. Our work with First Nations in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest is a strong example of building conservation based economies. One of the premier ways we have done that was our participation in creating the $120 million Coast Opportunity Fund which supports First Nations conservation management and conservation based economic development.
We are honored to have played a role in supporting new ways forward in places like the Great Bear Rainforest. First Nations there have created jobs and new economic opportunities by:
Art Sterritt, Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations—Great Bear Initiative, speaks to the idea that protecting the environment, and traditional cultures, go hand in hand in Community Health, Nature's Wealth:
The ecological diversity found within our traditional territories helps to define and enrich our quality of life. Yet there are startling trends that threaten this. Industrial resource extraction is consuming resources and our territories at an increasingly rapid rate. Within the lifetime of our children, our territories and our resources could be damaged beyond repair…. As First Nation communities we must encourage activities that identify new resources and technologies, and that enhance our current resource base to maximize lasting benefits for our quality of life and the environment. Low-impact resource developments offer First Nations one way to create an environmentally responsible economy. We hope the examples in Community Health, Nature's Wealth provide communities with incentives to move in this direction.