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Scientists call on BC's Premier Clark to speed protection of Great Bear Rainforest

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New information on forest carbon sinks shows that the Great Bear, Haida Gwaii, and Clayoquot Sound rainforests may play an important role in helping to stabilize the global climate, as these forests store an estimated 1.8 billion tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of nearly 100 times the province’s official annual greenhouse gas emissions4. When old-growth forests are cut down, up to 40 percent of their stored carbon is released as a global warming pollutant5. The Great Bear Rainforest agreements will protect an important global sink of forest carbon stores.

The history of how the provincial government of British Columbia, First Nations, conservation groups, and the timber industry joined together on the Great Bear agreements is an exemplary model of conservation that we hope will be replicated around the globe.

In closing, we request that you address the ongoing delays of interim conservation measures by fully implementing the outstanding conservation milestones of the Great Bear Agreements by March 31, 2013 as a global model for forest sustainability. Given the global importance of the Great Bear Rainforests and the imminent threats posed to intact rainforests around the world, we commend you for reaching these agreements and now urge you to demonstrate your commitments to fulfilling them. 

Sincerely,  Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.  Chief Scientist and President  Geos Institute, Ashland, Oregon, USA  Lead author of Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World  

 Also signed by: 

(affiliations listed for identification purposes only)

 Paul Alaback, Ph.D., 

Professor Emeritus of Forest Ecology

College of Forestry and Conservation 

University of Montana

Missoula, Montana


Ketevan Batsatsashvili

Programme Officer, Caucasus Plant RLA

Assistant Professor, Institute of Ecology

Ilia State University

Tbilisi, Georgia


Harvey Blankespoor, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Hope College and University of Michigan

Holland, Michigan


Richard Bradley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, EEO Biology

Ohio State University

Marion, Ohio


Peter F. Brussard, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biology

University of Nevada, Reno

Reno, Nevada


John Cairns, Jr., Ph.D.

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Biological Sciences Department

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia


Kai Chan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor 

Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC


Lance Craighead, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Craighead Environmental Research Institute 

Bozeman, Montana


Chris Darimont, Ph.D.

Hakai-Raincoast Lab 

University of Victoria

Victoria, BC



Paul K. Dayton, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Marine Ecology

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

La Jolla, California


David F. DeSante, Ph.D.


The Institute for Bird Populations

Point Reyes Station, California


Anton Drescher, Ph.D.

Institute for Plant Sciences, Systematics & Geobotany Dept. Herbarium GZU 

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