Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Historic Day for Canada's Boreal Forest

Today is a day for the history books.

From ForestEthics:
Make no mistake, this agreement is a game-changer. Logging in caribou habitat is now
on hold in more than 29 million hectares while concrete plans to protect woodland
caribou habitat and other important regions of the Boreal Forest are jointly
developed by environmental groups and the Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) and presented to governments. This agreement also includes a commitment from
FPAC to minimize their carbon footprint and to jointly develop and adopt best
practices for all forestry operations.

We now have an agreement between environmental groups and forestry corporations to preserve a vast amount of Boreal forest in Canada. Who would have ever thought this would come to be?

I'll tell you who. A 20-something young woman who found the habitat of the marbled murrelet she was studying suddenly destroyed. The woman's name is Tzeporah Berman, and from that point on she became a strong voice for the rainforests of BC. Remember the huge protests at Clayoquot Sound in the 1990's, and the subsequent (however temporary) protection of those forests? It was Tzeporah who organized everyone. It was Tzeporah who started a "do not buy" campaign, taking forestry facts and statistics to the largest of the forest's consumers. It was Tzeporah who sat down with Macmillan Bloedel and worked out a forestry agreement.

This last step, of working out an agreement between the forestry corporations, the environmentalists and the first nations representatives was monumental. Nothing like this had been done before.

It can be no coincidence that now, less than 20 years later we have what is the world's largest conservation agreement signed in Canada.

Tzeporah, you are my hero, as are the many others who also saw the wisdom in working together to save the forests, the caribou, and the livelihoods of many Canadians.

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