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Prosperous Communities and Stewardship


On June 25, we celebrated with Coastal First Nations, Canada, and British Columbia the historic announcement of $335 million of funding for Indigenous-led collaborative conservation in the Great Bear Sea.

Covering two-thirds of the coast of British Columbia, the Great Bear Sea (also known as the Northern Shelf Bioregion) is one of the most environmentally and culturally significant cold-water environments in the world. An ecological and cultural treasure, the Great Bear Sea is located off the North and Central Coasts of BC, including Haida Gwaii and the waters around northern Vancouver Island. These waters support an incredible mix of habitats – open ocean, vibrant estuaries, dense kelp forests, expansive coral and sponge beds, and deep fjords–which, in turn, have sustained our coastal communities for thousands of years.

Today, overfishing, habitat loss, increased shipping traffic, and climate change are having an impact on the Great Bear Sea and contributing to declines in fish, bird, and shellfish populations – harming our coastal peoples and the wildlife that depend on a healthy ocean and threatening a careful balance that First Nations have maintained for millennia.

To help address these challenges, First Nations are leading a groundbreaking initiative to establish the Great Bear Sea project finance for permanence (PFP) initiative, which is a model for long-term, large-scale conservation that brings partners, funding, and management plans together to support lasting protection of a region. Importantly, the vision for the Great Bear Sea PFP includes funding for stewardship and sustainable economic development.

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Photo credit Emilee Gilpin/Coastal First Nations

You can read more about the Great Bear Sea PFP here: https://ourgreatbearsea.ca/