Ecosystem Services in the Great Bear Rainforest

Great Bear MarketsThe Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) is the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest in the world, containing significant amounts of highly valuable biodiversity whose survival has been guaranteed by its protection.

The GBR project guarantees the protection of an area the size of Switzerland and aims to sequester 1 million tonnes of CO2 every year by reducing forest harvest levels. The commoditization and sale of carbon can provide further funding to conserve and protect the GBR as well as assisting with First Nations development; the value of these carbon credits is estimated to be almost 1 billion dollars, over a 30-year crediting period.

Project success is not only measured in the amount of carbon credits generated. The GBR is the largest remaining coastal temperate rainforest in the world, containing significant amounts of highly valuable biodiversity whose survival will be guaranteed by the project. Watershed protection has had a positive effect on water quality, which in turn has benefits outside the direct project area. Perhaps the greatest success of the GBR has been the diverse group of stakeholders who were engaged during the process. First Nations, environmental NGOs and foundations, logging companies and provincial government were all involved in the successful protection of the GBR. Of particular importance is the role of First Nations in the creation of MBIs in the GBR. MBIs have the potential to generate significant revenue that can be utilized for First Nations economic development purposes.

The project went beyond a simple review of the current state of the markets and investigated the potential for more advanced MBIs to be used in the GBR. The final report concluded that there were a number of assets within the GBR that had the potential to be monetised, and just as importantly, ruled out a number of others that had previously been considered.