A consortium of private funders is pleased to announce the latest success in the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest unprotected tract of intact coastal temperate rainforest. At a ceremony Sunday, January 21st in Vancouver, the Canadian Federal government agreed to contribute $30 CAD million to a $120 CAD million financing package to promote conservation management and economic diversification in the Great Bear region.

This unique agreement lays the groundwork for future conservation successes around the globe. It replaces an outdated model of resource extraction and offers a sustainable approach to protecting the environment and enabling communities to prosper. That’s why it has attracted conservation dollars from around the world.

The tireless efforts of many players made this agreement possible. We’d like to thank ForestEthics, Greenpeace and Sierra Club of Canada for their innovative work over the last decade. Funders including Tides Canada Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The Nature Conservancy raised $60 CAD million for conservation management in First Nation territories.

The British Columbia government also committed $30 CAD million to the project, which together with federal funds will flow to First Nations for sustainable economic development in the region. We acknowledge and deeply respect the leadership of the First Nations in coastal British Columbia, who have implemented a bold vision to support biodiversity in their territories.

The key to long term sustainability in the Great Bear Rainforest is to follow through on ecosystem based management so that we can build on the commitments of all partners as the land use agreement is implemented. Furthermore, the conservation financing package is an integral component of long-term plans to protect biodiversity in the region.  Public and private funding will be essential over the coming years to preserve the diversity and health of the Great Bear Rainforest.

To learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest Protection and to view press materials go to www.savethegreatbear.org.

For more information about U.S. and Canadian foundations’ involvement in the project, please contact Ross McMillan with Tides Canada Foundation at (250) 951-9251.