Victoria and Coastal First Nations (CFN), an alliance of eight First Nations on the north and central coast and Haida Gwaii, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to continue and expand their work to protect the environment and boost the regional economy.
The MOU builds on a 2009 reconciliation protocol to protect the Great Bear Rainforest and develop a sustainable economy.
Victoria has also signed a new five-year agreement to purchase carbon offsets from the Great Bear Rainforest carbon-offset projects.
"As we continue our work towards reconciliation, it is imperative we continue to strengthen our government-to-government relationship” CFN president Chief Marilyn Slett said.
An integral part of our work together includes the Province's commitment to supporting carbon-credit sales and the world-class work of our stewardship offices and guardian watchmen."
The agreement outlines a long-term vision to manage and protect B.C.'s mid- and northern coastal areas in the face of climate change as well as increasing economic development opportunities for CFN communities.
Under the MOU, the parties agree to pursue a conservation-based regional economy through initiatives promoting financial self-reliance, climate change and conservation, land and marine stewardship, economic development, connectivity and high-speed digital access.
The carbon-offset projects, collectively covering an area greater than six million hectares, protect existing carbon stocks through ecosystem-based forestry management. Revenues are planned to support local economic self-sufficiency.