Opinion

Minister Chong: 'Proud' of Great Bear Carbon Offsets

Reply to Tyee article urging transparency says deal with First Nations positive, 'publicly celebrated.'

By Ida Chong 21 Jan 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Ida Chong is British Columbia's Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

image atom
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Ida Chong: Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements preserve nature, tie First Nations into green economy.

In response to Ben Parfitt's opinion piece in The Tyee, Why Such Secrecy About Great Bear Carbon Offsets?, published Jan. 18, 2013.

Our government is proud of the work it has done to develop Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements, part of our Reconciliation Agreements with the Coastal, Haida and Nanwakolas First Nations. It is just one way B.C. is leading the country when it comes to developing innovative opportunities for First Nations to participate in B.C.'s economy.

Each Reconciliation Protocol was publicly celebrated and acknowledged in a joint news release as a starting point for stronger government-to-government relations, supporting shared decision making and creating greater certainty for industry. The Reconciliation Protocols came about in consultation with local communities, industry and non-governmental organizations and are supported by many years of work on land-use management plans on the North and Central Coast as well as Haida Gwaii.

Each Reconciliation Protocol includes economic development opportunities for First Nations such as Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements, opportunities in forestry, tourism and clean energy, and revenue sharing opportunities for developments within their traditional territories. These opportunities in turn enable First Nations to pursue their own social priorities, support strong families and strong communities.

As an international market-based trading system for carbon offsets develops, Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements lay the groundwork for First Nations participation, while meeting the mutual goals of First Nations and all British Columbians: preserving important eco-systems such as the Great Bear Rainforest and creating opportunities for participation in the green economy. In fact, the Tyee previously lauded this work in an article titled Great Bear Forest to Be Massive Carbon Offset Project by Christopher Pollon, published June 12, 2011.

British Columbia shares revenue or provides opportunities for First Nations to participate in atmospheric benefits, forestry revenue and access to timber, mineral revenues from new and expanded mines, oil and gas revenues, and revenue from clean-energy projects through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund.

We are leading the country in our efforts to work with First Nations communities and we will continue to openly build new relationships based on mutual respect and responsibility that improve the quality of life of aboriginal people for the benefit of all British Columbians.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Get The Tyee in your inbox

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Are there other plastic words that pollute our world? If so, what are they?

Take this week's poll