Two hundred and twenty-three scientists from nine countries have put their names to a letter calling on action from the B.C. government to protect the province’s remaining temperate rainforests.
The group wants the province to recognize the global significance of the coastal and inland temperate rainforests they say contains substantial amounts of carbon and contribute to Canada’s overall commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Of particular concern is the logging of old growth rainforests on Vancouver Island.
The scientists say more than 10,000 hectares per year is cut down on Vancouver Island, adding only a small portion of productive old-growth remains and the majority is still unprotected.
They argue the rapid pace of logging is not only causing higher ecological risk but is adding to climate change impacts with carbon being released into the atmosphere and raising global temperatures.
The letter says temperate rainforests hold significant ecological value and makes up just 2.5 per cent of the Earth’s forests, and B.C.’s coastal rainforests make up over a quarter of that total.
The list of names on the letter includes University of Victoria Professors Nancy Turner and Neville Winchester and Postdoctoral Fellow Norah Brown, scientist Paul Paquet from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation in Sidney, Aquatic Science Technician Jocelyn Nelson of Nanaimo and Strathcona Wilderness Institute researcher Loys Maingon of Courtenay.