Dawn Paley’s article ignores key aspects of the Great Bear Rainforest agreement to fit her theory about a trend to “secretive deals” between green groups and industry, marginalizing First Nations [“Are green groups ready for tarsands deal?”, November 21-28]]. Paley’s key evidence that supposedly proves that our organizations are responsible for outcomes negotiated without First Nations involvement is, ironically, the same agreement signed between Great Bear Rainforest First Nations and the provincial government.
Completed after a long negotiation that included our groups, the agreement has had radically good results. Among other things, it has helped establish a new government-to-government relationship and so far has conserved half of the region’s rainforest from logging. And our work is continuing toward meeting the agreed-to science-based conservation goal of the agreement. All of which would have been easy to find out if Paley would have spoken to us.
The agreement, a fundamentally collaborative model between all parties, also includes a $120-million fund, raised by environmental groups with First Nations, for building a conservation economy in their communities.
Our position on the tarsands remains crystal clear: tarsands production needs to be phased out as soon as possible because of the climate crisis. We continue to work with First Nations and other communities across the country to achieve this goal, as evidenced by the 130 citizen rallies across Canada on November 16.
> Valerie Langer / ForestEthics Solutions, Eduardo Sousa / Greenpeace, Jens Wieting / Sierra Club B.C.