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Fair Conservation Compensation Needed

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Conservation cash vital to securing B.C.’s old-growth deferrals

Rochelle Baker January 12th 2022 4-6 minutes

Ken Wu, chair of the new Nature-Based Solutions Foundation, says conservation financing is necessary for First Nations in B.C. that agree to pause logging at-risk old-growth. Photo courtesy of NBSF

A new conservation foundation is working to provide Indigenous and other land-based communities with funds to protect endangered ecosystems and build economic alternatives to the logging of at-risk old-growth forests.

It’s unjust and impractical to expect communities that rely on revenue from activities such as forestry, ranching or resource extraction to bear the financial burden of shifting their local economy on their own to protect areas for the benefit of all, said Ken Wu, chair of the recently established Nature-Based Solutions Foundation (NBSF).

Case in point is the current old-growth deferral process underway in B.C., where the provincial government has asked First Nations to consider putting logging on hold in at-risk old-growth forests but hasn’t offered any compensation to do so, said Wu, also executive director of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance.

“It’s both unrealistic and unreasonable to expect First Nations to just walk away from their main revenue sources in order to save old-growth,” Wu said.

“For there to be environmental, economic and social justice, there needs to be a sustainable economic alternative with key financing.”