Premier Christy Clark has been invited to Buckingham Palace for a recognition ceremony Tuesday to mark the preservation of rainforest on the B.C. Coast.
The reception is to honour projects recognized by the The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative, a global project to preserve forests that began in 2015. Prince William announced that the region now known as the Great Bear Rainforest would be part of he initiative during his visit to B.C. in September.
The premier’s office says this is the first time in more than 40 years that a B.C. premier has been invited to an official function at Buckingham Palace.
The Great Bear Rainforest agreement was finalized in 2009, covering 6.5 million hectares of B.C.’s Central and North Coast, an area the size of Belgium. About a third of that is in protected areas, including 114 conservancies that are off-limits to industrial logging, mining and large-scale hydroelectric development.
It also marked the first “government to government” agreement in B.C. recognizing aboriginal rights and title to Crown land and working co-operatively to manage it.
The province has also announced a $1 million trust fund to develop teacher and student resources and publicize the history of the region, home to aboriginal people for more than 12,000 years.