The Great Bear Rainforest on the western coast of Canada is home to the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest remaining in the world. It is an Improved Forest Management project, which generates emission reductions by protecting forest areas that were previously designated, sanctioned or approved for commercial logging. The project activities include changes in land-use legislation and regulation that result in the protection of forest areas and reduction of harvest levels. The Project protects and increases carbon stocks by converting forests that were previously available for logging to protected forests, and reduces emissions caused by harvesting, road building and other forestry operations. It is a landmark project for balancing human well being and ecological integrity through carbon finance, and is the first carbon project in North America on traditional territory with unextinguished aboriginal rights and title. The project area has high ecological and cultural values (e.g. monumental cedar, culturally modified trees) and a wide variety of non-forestry land uses, including recreation and protected areas.
This carbon project enhances all aspects of biodiversity, water, and other environmental attributes by retaining and protecting the existing forest in intact, fully functioning ecosystems. Coastal forests are rich in natural resources including timber, water, fish and wildlife. This diverse landscape is home to a variety of terrestrial and marine wildlife, including black- tailed deer, grizzly and black bears, wolves, sea mammals, raptors, and sea birds.
In addition to productive, structurally diverse old-growth ecosystems and unique bog complexes, important ecological features in the region include undammed, free-flowing rivers supporting large populations of spawning salmon and grizzly bears, estuaries, kelp beds, seabird colonies, archipelago/fjord terrain, deep fjord and crypto depression lakes, and intertidal flats with abundant invertebrates and resident and migratory water birds.
Social and economical benefits
Funds from the sale of carbon offsets in the GBR will go towards creating jobs within the First Nations Communities in the Project area. By creating a conservation economy that puts a dollar value on carbon absorption, funds are returned to the original stewards of this land. Returning forest management to the Coastal First Nations addresses longstanding concerns about new employment at home for First Nations in the Great Bear region.