Nine Days to Save the Great Bear and a Ban on Trophy Hunting

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The Great Bear Rainforest has been in the news a lot over the last couple of months. First off, the BC government is coming down to the wire on following through on its promise to protect the region.  Three years ago, the province of British Columbia committed to protecting this region under a new conservancy. All the stakeholders–the provincial government, logging companies, First Nations and environmentalists–agreed to a new approach to resource planning, and committed to its implementation by March 31, 2009.

While some progress has been made, BC must still initiate a regional plan to ensure conservation of the ecosystem. A study (PDF) comissioned by ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club BC found that the region is an important carbon sink (here’s the full text for the article):

If the area were subject to standard logging, states the report by Rachel Holt, an independent biologist, an estimated 153 million tonnes of CO{-2} would be released into the atmosphere.

“This translates into three times what the province emits annually from the use of fossil fuels … or the emissions of 28 million cars on the road for a year,” Dr. Holt says in the study.

Likewise, a coalition of conservationists recently called for a ban on trophy hunting bears in the Great Bear:

Members of the group believe that ecotourism in the protected coastal area can generate more revenue than hunting while avoiding its ecological and moral costs. British Columbia’s bear hunt generates more than $100-million a year and provides 2,000 jobs, according to government and industry figures.

“There’s going to be a lot of questions about the economy … but it doesn’t change the fundamental reality. It’s not a hunt, and it’s not at trophy hunt. It’s a slaughter,” said Arnie Bellis, vice-president of the Council of the Haida Nation and a coalition member.

Here’s a petition to urge the BC government to keep their promises around the Great Bear, and here’s one on banning trophy hunting in the region.

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