B.C., First Nations reveal marine plans

Great Bear Rainforest ecosystem management extended to oceans around B.C. coast, without federal participation

The B.C. government has completed regional marine plans with 18 First Nations on the B.C. Coast, from northern Vancouver Island up to the Alaska border.

The marine plans are to be an extension of the 2007 coastal land use plan that has become known as the Great Bear Rainforest agreement. The four regions are Haida Gwaii, Central Coast, North Coast and North Vancouver Island, but they do not attempt to intrude on the key federal jurisdictions of shipping and fisheries management.

Aboriginal leaders said they were proceeding with B.C. and environmental organizations, but the federal government has not participated in what they call MaPP, the Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast.

Haida Nation President Peter Lantin said the marine plan for the waters around Haida Gwaii sets aside 20 per cent as a marine reserve, and discussions with Ottawa are underway to add more area around Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. But with pipelines and oil and gas projects proposed for the region, the plans are far from completion.

“When we embarked on this journey a decade ago, the whole intent was to be comprehensive marine planning, which involves everything,” Lantin said. “So as the environment’s changed over the last 10 years around those federal jurisdictional issues, we’ve seen them not want to be part of this process.”

The Haida Nation remains opposed to crude oil tanker traffic through its marine territory, and is studying the issue of liquefied natural gas tankers in North Coast waters, he said.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea’s office issued a statement in response to the announcement in Victoria.

“The Department of Fisheries and Oceans did not participate in MaPP as it is involved in similar initiatives with similar partners such as the Canada-B.C. Marine Protected Area network strategy, which achieves marine protection and conservation goals through a joint federal-provincial approach, collaborative decision-making and a participatory process,” the statement said.

Doug Neasloss, representative of the Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance, thanked Tides Canada and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a San Francisco-based environmental charity started by a co-founder of Intel Corp., for continuing to support the establishment of protected areas on the B.C. coast.

U.S. donors working through the Tides Foundation put up $60 million in 2007 to participate in the Great Bear Rainforest land use agreement. B.C. and the federal government put up $30 million each.

 

Just Posted

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

Slam poetry creates catharsis for North Delta youth

Burnsview Secondary team gearing up for poetry festival and competition in April

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read