The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is pleased to invite First Nations leadership, technicians, and community members to a virtual open discussion about the benefits, limitations, opportunities, and challenges of community-led land-based carbon offsets projects.
Land-based carbon offsets could potentially reduce carbon emissions and support First Nations’ economic development interests alongside conservation and biodiversity goals.
Over the past year, the BCAFN has been exploring options concerning how to support First Nations interested in developing community-led, land-based carbon offset projects that also respect and affirm Indigenous Rights. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and others have confirmed that recognizing Indigenous land rights decreases deforestation rates, increases carbon storage, and leads to greater biodiversity.
The BCAFN has prepared First Nations Carbon, a discussion paper that provides information and promotes dialogue on carbon, First Nations rights with respect to carbon, how carbon offsets work, and how First Nations can benefit from them.
This virtual session on Tuesday, April 19th (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) will present the discussion paper findings and welcome the Coastal First Nations’ Great Bear Initiative, the Government of B.C. and the Assembly of First Nations, Economic Development Sector to share experiences and current opportunities for First Nations-led land-based carbon offsets in British Columbia.
BC Assembly of First Nations – First Nations Carbon Discussion Paper
Michelle Connolly is a project manager on Ecotrust Canada’s Climate Innovation team. Michelle managed a northern climate solutions research program for six years and was a carbon specialist with the BCAFN. During her work with the BCAFN, Michelle prepared a discussion paper titled First Nations Carbon, which will be summarized at this session. Michelle has also worked with all levels of government to develop and communicate conservation policy, support land management, and administrate tenure. Michelle holds an MSc in Forest Disturbance Ecology from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).
Coastal First Nations – The Great Bear Forest Carbon project
David Oxley and Dani Warren work for the Great Bear Carbon Credit Limited Partnership. They will share their experiences with the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, an innovative Improved Forest Management project that generates up to one million tonnes of carbon offsets each year. The project also provides 80% of the revenue from carbon credits sales to Coastal First Nations while protecting a large area of intact coastal template rainforest. Their presentation will include lessons learned and opportunities for improving carbon policies.
David Oxley is the Business Corporations Manager with Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative (CFN). After working twenty years in the social services sector, David started in 2015 with CFN as an IT Admin. In 2016 David was approached by senior staff to become more involved with carbon offsets. Always ready for a challenge, David began working part-time to coordinate and manage the offsets for the member nations of CFN. Shortly thereafter, officially moved into the full-time role of Business Corporations Coordinator with the Great Bear Carbon Credit Limited Partnership. David has since then built the infrastructure that all offsets are managed by today. He has worked to build and has maintained strong relationships with all member nations and sales partners. He is passionate about carbon education, committed to maximizing the funding for our First Nations and helping them reach their goals for languages, culture, a stable economic future and protecting the Great Bear Forest and all that live within it.
Dani Warren is the Corporate Administrator with Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative (CFN). She began working with the CFN team in early 2022. Dani is Cree and a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. She has a recent background in project/property management with Bosa Properties and 49 North Partners. She is passionate to work with those in need and spent five years with the St. Paul’s Hospital security team frontline with patrons from the Downtown Eastside and the City of Burnaby Warming Centres overnight shelter program. Outside of working life, Dani is a competitive bagpiper with the SFU/RMM pipe band organization and holds a Director position as a board member with the British Columbia Pipers Association.
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Warren Greeves is the Senior Economic Advisor for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. Over the last ten years, Warren has supported major sustainability initiatives in the non-profit, private, and public sectors. Warren has worked with two Canadian provincial governments to develop climate policy. Currently, Warren leads the development of nature-based carbon offset standards and methodologies. Warren will present an overview of the B.C.’s Offset Program and Requirements, the B.C.’s Forest Carbon Offset Protocol and a summary of the timing and next steps B.C. will take to support carbon offsets projects.
Assembly of First Nations
William David (Mohawks of Akwesasne) is currently Director of Economic Development with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds a degree in environmental engineering science from MIT and a law degree from the University of Ottawa, where he contributed to research on the effects of indigenous Title on carbon trading regimes. Mr. David has over 20 years of experience working to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples at the community, national and international levels, including territorial rights of indigenous peoples in the context of environmental conservation and climate change through the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. William will present potential co-benefits from carbon offsets projects for First Nations in the Canadian context.
For questions about this dialogue session, please contact BCAFN’s Regional Climate Change Coordinator Patricia Rojas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about registration or Zoom, please contact Joanna Prince at email@example.com.
The event will be recorded. If you cannot attend and would like to watch the session, please visit https://www.bcafn.ca/climate-emergency/bcafn-climate-action-webinars.