Quebec First Nations travel to B.C. to learn about Great Bear Rainforest deal

VANCOUVER - Members of a remote Cree First Nation in Quebec have travelled to British Columbia to discuss the successful negotiations to protect the Great Bear Rainforest.

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The Cree First Nation of Waswanipi wants to protect forests around its lands, about 600 kilometres northwest of Quebec City.

The six-person Quebec delegation, including Chief Marcel Happyjack, hopes to learn from all sides involved in the decades-long negotiation to protect 85 per cent of the unique temperate rainforest on B.C.'s central coast.

Happyjack says the group wants to understand the process that led to protection of the region and is also intrigued by arrangements to manage climate change.

The rainforest deal creates the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, which manages and sells carbon credits, based on how much carbon is absorbed by protected timber.

Happyjack says one B.C. chief explained those credits created as many stewardship jobs as were formerly tied to logging, and the Waswanipi are optimistic about a similar deal covering the Broadback region of Quebec.


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