We fought for over a decade to protect Canada's Great Bear Rainforest. Over half of this ancient temperate rainforest is now protected from logging and pipelines. Now it's time for the provincial government to keep its promise and put 70% of the forest out of harm's way by the end of next year.
The Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest expanses of unspoilt temperate rainforest in the world. It is home to almost 30 indigenous First Nations and supports cougars, wolves, and the amazing Spirit Bears, a unique black bear that has an unusual trait: one in ten is born with completely white fur.
For years this pristine wilderness was under threat from industrial clearcut logging. Unusrprisingly, we weren't going to stand by and let that happen, so we joined forces with other environmental groups and First Nations who were fighting to save the rainforest.
In 2001, Greenpeace sat down with First Nations representatives, the provincial government of British Columbia, the logging industry and other environmental organisations to thrash out a deal. The logging industry agreed to stop logging in over 100 untouched areas of forest, after which we agreed to put our markets campaigns on hold.
It took five years to reach an agreement, but in 2006 we got one.
A third of the forest - 5 million acres - was protected immediately; the BC government announced a plan to protect 50% by 2009. The target was to protect at least 70% of old growth forest, which is what independent scientific analysis says was needed if the rainforest was to survive.
That's meant to happen by next year, but there's still plenty of work to do before we get there, which is why Greenpeace Canada is calling on the government of British Columbia to keep its promise and protect the Great Bear Rainforest, so that the people and wildlife that depend upon it can continue to thrive.