Great Bear Rainforest carbon credits offer economic lifeline to First Nations

31 January 2014

B.C. First Nations could reap a financial windfall if they and the government agree on recommendations from industry and environmental groups to protect an additional 500,000 hectares of the Great Bear Rainforest.

It's in a region covering about 6.4 million hectares along B.C.’s central and north coast—an area larger than Switzerland.

It's the world’s largest intact coastal temperate rainforest

According to UBC Sauder School of Business professor James Tansey, protecting 70 percent of the Great Bear Rainforest from logging—which would result from the recommendations—would yield about 1.2 million tonnes of carbon credits per year.

These credits could be sold for $15 to $25 per tonne, generating $18 million to $30 million annually for First Nations communities in the region.

“It gets spent on community economic development and job creation,” Tansey, CEO of Offsetters, told the Georgia Straight at a clean-technology conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre. “We’ve been working with them on things like shellfish aquaculture and ecotourism.”

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