On March 3-6, 2011 about 120 people gathered in Tofino and Ahousaht to share lessons learned in 15 years since the Science Panel delivered recommendations. This event was organized by Ecotrust Canada, hosted by the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations and benefit from generous sponsors.

This page describes what we heard at, or about the symposium and some thoughts about moving forward.

Key Themes/Messages we heard

  • Emergence of new generation of Nuu-chah-nulth leaders
  • Need for ongoing & consistent monitoring and co-management
  • It’s all about Relationships
  • New options for forest tenures in Clayoquot Sound that includes conservation financing, forest carbon, and non-timber forest product options

Media Coverage

Participant Feedback

Friends of Clayoquot Sound are still buzzing from a symposium held here in Tofino and Ahousat earlier this month. The symposium, organized by Ecotrust, brought together a lot of people who care passionately about Clayoquot Sound, to reflect on the past 15 years and discuss ways to move forward together.

Several themes came up repeatedly over the weekend: the need to settle the First Nations land question and ensure human well-being was made abundantly clear by Clifford Atleo Sr in Ahousat. The need to settle the land-use question, particularly as it pertains to the large tracts of globally rare ancient rainforest in Clayoquot Sound was mentioned repeatedly by many scientists and other participants.

There is a need to integrate terrestrial and marine ecosystem management—the Clayoquot Science Panel Recommendations are only about forestry and do not regulate other industries such as fish-farming and tourism, let alone open-pit mining. It was clear the Science Panel did not go far enough for many people, both Natives and settlers.

The fact that many people care about the future of our planet, particularly as it manifests locally in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve was obvious, and the fact that there is a huge amount of human intelligence and energy being applied to resolve these issues was both hopeful and inspiring.

Friends of Clayoquot Sound – e-news

I thought the event was well organized and implemented, and very worthwhile. It was interesting to hear how things have unfolded since the Panel’s recommendations, and be part of discussions on what residents and other interested stakeholders feel needs to happen next. It was also a great opportunity for participants to hear a few of the Panel members’ comments on new issues, and see the diversity of perspectives and thinking that characterized their discussions over a decade ago.

I enjoyed the trip to Ahousaht, seeing developments in the community infrastructure, and hearing about Iisaak Forest Resources and the many ways it is helping its owners shape their future. The insights from the Joint Solutions Project — e.g., that collaboration is durable, and grounded in making space and time for discussions to happen, proceeding with integrity, and being creative and forward-thinking — were testimony Ecotrust’s work in the region.

I concur with Brenda’s closing remark that the discussion was really just getting going on Sunday, and she wished she could lock the doors on everyone so it could continue.

It will require careful thought for the many participants to answer the four questions posed by Laura in the final session, and to build the machine to collectively move forward. But from the heartfelt presentations by the First Nations youths that concluded the symposium, and the commitment of Ecotrust to support this work, it sounds like the major pieces are in place.

–Melissa Hadley, RPF, PMP. Cortex Consultants.

I wanted to write to say how impressed I am with what you have been doing in the Clayoquot Sound region. This is exactly the sort of thing that I think is needed amongst First Nations communities, especially on the coast. You have chosen a pretty difficult area to work in, but the benefit is that if you can get your model working there, you should be able to replicate anywhere. I hope you realize that the model could be of great value to other indigenous groups trying to make something out of forestry – not just in BC, but in other places around the world.

–John Innes, Professor and Dean, UBC Faculty of Forestry

That was a really interesting symposium. I learned a lot. I was engaged by the dynamics. There are wheels in motion that were greased by conversations there that should be good for Clayoqout people and places and for places beyond Clayoquot.

Congratulations on pulling off a complicated organizing feat and thanks for doing it too.

–Valerie Langer, ForestEthics