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Finance for Forests: Conservation Finance in Coastal BC

How can communities conserve forest ecosystems without compromising economic security?

In June, Coast Funds released the Finance for Forests report. It highlights conservation finance tools that can assist First Nations in achieving their stewardship and conservation goals.

Conservation Finance Tools

Finance for Forests introduces financial tools that First Nations can use to support their conservation efforts.

These tools include conservation trusts, federal and provincial grants, philanthropic grants, carbon credits, payments for ecosystem services, and other solutions like salmon impact bonds.

Each tool is evaluated based on its revenue generation potential, flexibility, impact on a Nation's self-determination, and ability to support different stages of conservation projects.

Highlights from the Report

Eddy Adra, CEO of Coast Funds, emphasized the need for diversified funding sources to sustain stewardship programs. This need is crucial as First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii work on plans for new Indigenous protected and conserved areas and expanding their Guardian programs. The report presents four sample conservation finance portfolios to show how First Nations can combine multiple tools to cover short-term and long-term conservation costs.

Doug Neasloss, elected Chief Councillor of Kitasoo Xai'xais Nation, highlighted the community's vision of stewardship where forests, fish, and wildlife thrive alongside their people. To achieve this vision, the community collaborates with government and philanthropy to secure investments in conservation and stewardship. This funding creates meaningful employment opportunities for people now and for future generations.

Impact on Economic Development

Through Coast Funds, First Nations have invested over $118 million in 474 conservation, stewardship, and sustainable economic development projects.

These investments have:

  • Supported 138 businesses across various sectors

  • Created nearly 1,300 new jobs in coastal communities

  • Sustained 18 Guardian and regional monitoring programs

Gitga'at Joint Venture with Probyn Log

The Gitga'at community can use these conservation finance tools in its joint venture partnership with Probyn Log. Forest stewardship and resource management are major parts of this relationship.

By engaging in sustainable logging practices, the Gitga'at Nation is protecting its forests and generating revenue that supports community development and economic growth.

Building a Conservation Economy

The investments made through Coast Funds are helping build a conservation economy in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. This economy is based on sustainable practices that ensure the long-term health of ecosystems while providing economic opportunities for First Nations communities.


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