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15 février 2006 3 15 /02 /février /2006 07:15

Voici un article intéressant pour la sauvegarde d'un écosystème en Colombie Britannique, après plus de dix années de négociations, représentant un  territoire aussi vaste comme deux fois la Belgique.

Photo of Spirit Bear

   L'ours blanc des Rainforest, espèce assez rare, sera ainsi mieux protégé.

Metro Vancouver
Wednesday, February 8, 2006

British Columbia's "war in the woods" officially ended yesterday with the announcement of a historic agreement to protect a coastal area twice the size of Belgium. Merran Smith, of Forest Ethics, recalled the days of logging blockades, when environmentalists were warning that "hundreds of valleys" along B.C.'s central and northern coast were threatened by clear-cutting. Those same environmentalists are now heralding the plan as a model for other endangered ecosystems, including the Amazon.

"Today's announcement is British Columbia's gift to the world," said Smith. Ten years in the making, the plan was hammered out by representatives from groups including the forest industry, First Nations, environmentalists and the provincial government. "It's taken so long because we decided to do this from the ground up," said Premier Gordon Campbell, adding that the plan has already made international waves, grabbing headlines in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times yesterday.

Campbell praised representatives from the 25 coastal First Nations, who will play an integral role in managing the six-million hectare area, calling them "bridge builders to the future." While two million hectares will be off-limits to industry, the rest of the Great Bear Rainforest will be developed in an environmentally sustainable fashion, including limited forestry, mining and tourism.

Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt said the agreement will open up business opportunities for aboriginal groups, while allowing them to maintain their traditional lifestyle. "This is about making our communities better places to live," said First Nations representative Dallas Smith. Western Forest Products CEO Reynold Hert welcomed First Nations participation, saying the plan will provide much needed "certainty" in the region, allowing for sustainable economic development. At the height of the conflict between environmentalists and logging companies, outlets including Home Depot and Ikea refused to sell products made of wood from B.C.'s old growth forests.

Photo of grizzly bear


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