Jody Holmes will address a keynote talk at the 2017 Bioneers conference. Early-bird ticket rates end on July 31. Get yours today!
The stunningly beautiful Great Bear ecosystem, the largest coastal temperate rainforest on Earth (representing a quarter of all such remaining forest on the planet!), stretches along British Columbia’s coast north of Vancouver Island. The traditional territory of many First Nations who have lived there thousands of years, it has been called ‘Canada’s Amazon’ for its biodiversity and ancient trees. It teems with salmon, grizzly bears, wolves, and its totemic, rare white ‘spirit’ bear.
An epic decades-long struggle between Indigenous people, environmentalists and eco-conscious citizens on one side and the logging industry and its allies on the other included years of dramatic protests and civil disobedience and creative activism that included very savvy media campaigns and the strategic boycotting and picketing of retailers and companies in the U.S. using Canadian lumber. Those heroic struggles yielded results when all the stakeholders finally realized they had to come to the table. It took many more years of tough negotiating to hammer out a definitive, final agreement, but in the end the recently finalized historic deal marks an extraordinary moment in the annals of land preservation and offers an inspiring model for the entire planet.
A coalition of environmental organizations, First Nations communities, logging companies and the British Columbia Government were able to put aside their differences and listen to each other. They came to a very long-term, multi-generational agreement, based on groundbreaking “Ecosystem-based Management” principles that, among other stipulations, protects 85% of the 15-million acre forest, guarantees Indigenous peoples’ shared decision-making, and mandates ecologically responsible forestry.
Jody Holmes, Project Director for Rainforest Solutions Project, a coalition of Greenpeace, Sierra Club of BC and Stand.org (formerly ForestEthics), was one of the key players in the small team (mostly women-led) at the core of this remarkable saga. She dedicated 20+ years of her life despite some intense personal crises to the incredibly challenging, complex, multi-faceted struggle in all its phases, from resistance to negotiation to bonding with former enemies. During the process she and her cohorts had to wrestle with issues surrounding: gender, science, culture, whole systems thinking, the disruption of conventional power dynamics, innovation, unusual conflict resolution techniques, and consensus decision making, but in their years of grueling work they may just have come up with a road map to preventing the decimation of many other of our last still vital ecosystems globally, and they are now sharing what they have learned with activists worldwide.
Come to the 2017 Bioneers Conference to hear from this great eco-heroine as she shares her perspectives about one of the most positive, inspiring and hopeful conservation, social justice, Indigenous rights, and sustainable development achievements in recent memory. Jody will address a keynote talk and will also be in a panel on how to build sustainable coalitions.
Early-bird ticket rate ends on July 31. Buy yours now!
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Jody Holmes was part of the Rainforest Solutions Project team that won the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Challenge in 2016. The $100,000 prize, now in its 10th year, is administered by The Buckminster Fuller Institute, a longtime ally of Bioneers. Several of the previous prize winners and finalists and semi-finalists have spoken at Bioneers, including Bren Smith of Green Wave and Jason McLennan of the Living Building Challenge.
A great leader in the earlier stages of the Great Bear campaigns, Tzeporah Berman of Forest Ethics, spoke at Bioneers several times, so we at Bioneers have long followed this epic struggle and are overjoyed at the historic achievement that has resulted from the work of all the dedicated activists who fought over the decades to save the Great Bear.