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Background Information

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This page provides a brief introduction to the following topics:

If you have any material you wish to contribute to this page, please contact: Rod Dobell.

British Columbia Treaty Commission

The BCTC is responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations in the province, not including the Nisga’a treaty negotiations. As the independent and impartial keeper of the process, the Commission is responsible for accepting First Nations into the treaty making process, It assesses when the parties are ready to start negotiations, and allocates funding, primarily in the form of loans, to First Nations. The Commission monitors and reports on the progress of negotiations, identifies problems and offers advice, and assists the parties in resolving disputes.

Clayoquot Sound Land Use Decision

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After years of inconclusive discussion, the government of British Columbia made a decision in April 1993 on land use in Clayoquot Sound. As a result of the 1993 Clayoquot Sound Land Use Decision, 34 percent of Clayoquot Sound is to be preserved for all time. The decision placed a further 21 percent of the Sound under special management, which allows some sensitive logging while emphasizing the protection of wildlife, recreation, and scenic values. Before the land-use decision, the area assigned to general integrated resource management — the usual designation for logging and other resource extraction — included 81 percent of Clayoquot Sound. The Government reduced this to 40 percent. First Nations were outraged at being excluded from the decision making process, and environmental groups were outraged that the plan permitted too much logging of old growth forest. While the provincial government’s decision concerning logging in Clayoquot Sound has not been explicitly reversed, the government responded to the opposition by setting up the independent Scientific Panel.

Commission on Resources and Environment

Established by the provincial government in 1992, CORE’s mandate included the development of strategic land use plans in four of the province’s most controversial regions (though Clayoquot Sound was excluded from its mandate). Although none of the regional land use planning processes initiated by CORE reached consensus at the table, the recommendations made by the Commissioner were extremely influential in the final regional land allocations decided by Cabinet. CORE was disbanded in 1996, with the expectation that the consultative processes would be carried on with the ongoing Land and Resource Management Planning (LRMP) process at the sub-regional scale.

Forest certification

Comparing the criteria and indicators of sustainability used by the FSC, ISO, CSA, and SFI Forest Certification Systems »
Interfor - ISO 14001 / Sustainable Forestry Initiatives »
Weyehaeuser - BC Coastal Group Certification »

Sustainable forest management certification systems are still evolving. The standards currently most relevant in BC include:

FSC: The Forest Stewardship Council certification standard was originally developed by environmental organizations (notably the World Wildlife Fund) in conjunction with a group of forest product consumers. Like the CSA standard, it provides for a local (regional or national) process to elaborate on a set of global principles.

ISO 14001: an internationally recognized standard for environmental management systems developed by the International Organization for Standardization. It defines the management system elements that an operation must adopt in order to attain environmental goals.

CSA Z809: a national standard in Canada for sustainable forest management. It was developed under the auspices of the Canadian Standards Association through a consultative stakeholder process, and is based on criteria approved by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, representing each Canadian province. Implementation of the CSA standard requires extensive local stakeholder consultation in setting management goals, measurable performance indicators and objectives.

Chain of Custody: a certification system that verifies a manager’s ability to track the flow of raw materials from the forest to final product. It does not offer an assessment of forest management practices, but it is a necessary tool in allowing a manager to label a product as having originated in a certified forest.

Forest tenures

Coast Forest Conservation Initiative »
Forest Conservation Portal »

Forest tenures are the manner by which the cutting of timber and other user rights to provincial Crown land are assigned. Virtually all of the forested land in the province is covered either by volume-based licenses in Timber Supply Areas or area-based Tree Farm Licenses. Most of the timber harvested is transferred to processing facilities owned by large vertically-integrated companies, and processed into relatively low value commodities such as pulp and dimension lumber, mostly shipped to the United States, giving rise to the most divisive and protracted trade disputes between the two countries.

Interim Measures Agreements

Clayoquot Sound Interim Measures Extension Agreement: A Bridge to Treaty »

In 1994, a two-year Interim Measures Agreement [IMA] between the provincial government and the five First Nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth Central Region was signed. The IMA acknowledged that the Ha’wiih (Hereditary Chiefs) of the First Nations have the responsibility to conserve and protect their traditional territories and waters for generations which will follow. As a result of this agreement, the First Nations and the province became partners in a joint management process for land use planning and resource management in Clayoquot Sound to be carried out by a Central Region Board [CRB] composed of First Nations representatives and provincial government appointees. In 1996, because treaty negotiations were still in progress, an extension to the initial IMA was signed, known as the Interim Measures Extension Agreement (IMEA). In April 2000, this agreement was replaced by the Clayoquot Sound Interim Measures Extension Agreement: A Bridge to Treaty.

Scientific Panel on Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound

Scientific Panel reports »

The Scientific Panel, which included First Nations resource management experts and leading scientists, was created by the BC government following the April 1993 decision on Clayoquot land use. The panel's mandate was to review current forest management standards in Clayoquot Sound and make recommendations for changes and improvements. The goal of the panel was to develop world-class standards for sustainable forest management in Clayoquot Sound by combining traditional and scientific knowledge.

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Last modified: December 3, 2004 | Contact: web@clayoquotalliance.uvic.ca