Scientists Take Concern about Great Bear Rainforest to Rio Summit
Rainforest scientists from around the world, supported by prominent experts speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio, on June 14 sent a letter to the Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, calling on her government to speed up full implementation of the agreements to protect the world-renowned Great Bear Rainforest.
“Many leaders now view as crucial what is at the core of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements: to protect your environmental assets to secure the long-term wellbeing of your citizens,” said
Kyle Gracey, research scientist and science coordinator at Global Footprint Network, who will participate in the Rio negotiations.
In the letter, the fifty-four scientists, from nine countries, emphasized the importance of implementing the agreements within the next year.
"Scientists are eager to have a model of conservation that can be replicated around the world, and while we have hope with the Great Bear agreement, six years later it remains an unfinished job," said Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Geos Institute and an expert on temperate and boreal rainforests, who initiated this letter.
"This is a timely call to the B.C. government to make the remaining steps for healthy ecosystems and healthy communities in this globally important region a priority," said Jens Wieting, coastal rainforest campaigner for Sierra Club BC. \
The scientists join thousands of voices in B.C. and around the world calling on the B.C. government to make sure the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements are fully implemented by March 31, 2013.
Currently, half of the Great Bear Rainforest remains open to logging. According to scientific recommendations built into the Great Bear agreements, 70 per cent of the natural old-growth rainforest must be set aside to ensure the rainforest's survival.
Learn more about Sierra Club BC's work in the Great Bear Rainforest.