04/21/2012 - The world being overly full of gloomy prospects in the two steps forward, one step back minuet that characterizes environmental progress, it seems to me that Earth Day is a good vantage point for turning from the bad news to note a few of the happier glimmers.
So here are a few environmental success stories — all works in progress, of course — for Canadians to celebrate:
The Boreal Forest: Brokered by the Pew Environment Group in 2010, that’s the conservation arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of those funding bodies so recently denounced by our federal government as working against national interests, the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement found common ground for an alliance between 20 timber companies and nine leading environmental organizations.
The agreement protects 72 million hectares within Canada’s share of the world’s largest intact forest stretching from B.C. to Newfoundland. It integrates large-scale habitat protection for species like woodland caribou and lynx with significantly higher environmental standards for sustainable forest management. Environmental activists have said that its importance “cannot be overstated” as a model for the rest of the world.
Is it working? The first independent audit delivered in 2011 reported progress toward five of the six strategic goals outlined in the agreement. Five of the 20 project management milestones scheduled for completion within the first year had been achieved, work was in progress on 10, four hadn’t begun and one had run into an obstacle. The next independent audit is due late in 2012, but it looks like a major success so far.
Read the full article, Earth Day Should Remind Us of Successes, on the Vancouver Sun's website.