Large-Scale Land and Ocean Conservation
In British Columbia, Nature United works alongside Indigenous partners to achieve lasting conservation results in key geographies, where old-growth forests are integral to addressing climate change and supporting resilient communities.
Our Work in British Columbia
Right now, there is a critical window of opportunity in British Columbia.
In partnership with Indigenous communities, we can realize the priorities and interests of First Nations and inspire new models for Indigenous-led conservation. Drawing on our more than a decade experience in this region we are helping to advance Indigenous stewardship, leadership, governance and sustainable economic development. And we are delivering innovative approaches to the climate crisis through Natural Climate Solutions.
Durable Protection of Land and Sea
We're working with First Nation, federal and provincial governments to secure permanent protection of up to 46 million acres of Coastal BC. How we're supporting protection of 250,000 acres of old-growth forest.
We're helping to realize governance models that prioritize community interests and contribute to sustainable economic development, conservation and human well-being. The Marine Plan Partnership is an example of a successful Indigenous co-governance model in the Great Bear Sea.
We support resilient youth and Guardian programs across BC that are sustainably funded and inspire new program development across the region—through the growth and dissemination of accessible tools and resources. Learn about our Emerging Leaders initiative.
We are encouraging the development and implementation of creative solutions that advance science and policy to support more climate-resilient fisheries.
Natural Climate Solutions
This work includes protecting old forests, more climate friendly forestry and ecosystem restoration—that result in carbon storage and sequestration in key geographies on the coast and beyond. How Natural Climate Solutions can help Canada reduce harmful emissions.
The coastal forests of Clayoquot Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island are the traditional territory of three First Nations: the Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht. This region is a stunning mosaic of emerald valleys, clustered islands and thousand-year-old trees. In 2000, the area became British Columbia’s first UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Despite its significance, Clayoquot Sound is vulnerable to unsustainable logging, mining and other development.
In 2008, our global affiliate was invited by local First Nations to support their efforts to advance land-use visions for Clayoquot Sound. In the years since, we've worked with the Nations to complete drafts of their visions, engage Provincial government in the process, and implement an Economic Development Action Plan protocol with the BC Government.
We are working to protect one of the world’s last intact coastal temperate rainforest for the next generation while addressing climate and social justice issues that have eroded old-growth forests, wild salmon runs, and the economic well-being of communities.
The Great Bear Rainforest and the archipelago of Haida Gwaii is a land and seascape spanning more than 43 million acres (17.5M ha) across the central and north coast of British Columbia. It is home to 27 First Nations who have inhabited and stewarded the lands and waters for thousands of years. It is the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.
With mist-shrouded valleys and glacier-cut fjords and old-growth forests, it provides habitat for some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet—including the iconic “spirit bear” (Kermode bear), a rare subspecies of black bear that has white fur and is found nowhere else on Earth.
Wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest
In 2006, our global affiliate was invited to support protection and sustainable management of 15 million acres (6.4M ha) in the Great Bear Rainforest and 2.6 million acres (1.05M ha) on Haida Gwaii. This partnership resulted in the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which was signed between First Nations and the British Columbia government in 2016.
Alongside this, our global affiliate made a $39 million contribution to a conservation endowment and supported the creation of Coast Funds. These funds are part of a $60 million endowment that supports Indigenous stewardship throughout the region and provides capacity for First Nations to co-manage the area’s resources alongside the provincial government.
Located along the northern and central coasts of British Columbia in Canada, the Great Bear Sea is one of the planet’s most biodiverse marine areas. It surrounds the Great Bear Rainforest, part of the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest on Earth.
British Columbia’s marine coast is a critical natural corridor where ocean and land are inextricably connected. Cedars, wolves, grizzly and black bears rely on salmon for survival; First Nations rely on these waters for food, jobs and cultural well-being; industries like fishing and tourism depend on healthy, thriving waters.
I truly believe that in order to understand what’s going on and effect change that is durable over time, you have to work at the local level with the people who are on the water and deeply connected to the resources.
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