Pacific Communities and Conservation

Working with communities in fostering local economies and building capacity for long term conservation and human well-being.

Tides Canada strives to resolve environmental and social challenges that are often addressed in isolation, but which are tightly interwoven in places like the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR). Facing Canada’s Pacific Coast, the GBR represents much of the world’s remaining intact coastal temperate rainforests and supports exceptionally diverse ecosystems and species: thousand-year-old trees, all five species of Pacific salmon, thriving bear populations including rare white “spirit bears”, a unique subspecies of wolves, and millions of migratory birds.

After almost two decades of intense negotiation and collaboration, in 2016 the final conservation and human well-being agreement for the GBR region of British Columbia’s north and central coast was officially announced. The agreement ensures the preservation of 70 per cent of the old-growth forests in the region. The uniquely integrated and unprecedented collaboration between the BC government, conservation organizations, forest companies, over 20 First Nations, and philanthropic foundations, reduced longstanding conflicts and produced the most comprehensive conservation and commercial forest management plan of this scale in North America, and perhaps on Earth.

The agreements have now been finalized, but work in the region is not complete. We are actively extending and adapting the GBR model to the rest of the Pacific Coast and beyond.

New programs focus on the conservation of wild salmon watersheds in Northwest British Columbia, enhancing youth training and leadership development, and fostering relationships among innovative community-based research and monitoring groups.

Canada’s Pacific watersheds are the ancestral and current homes of diverse First Nations. Their histories and identities are inextricably linked to the rainforest, its rivers and streams, and the ocean. Stewardship of natural resources is an inherent part of First Nations culture. The area is poised for significant economic growth, creating both opportunities and risks for the region and all those who call it home. We are supporting the region’s communities in building healthy, effective leaders and institutions that have the social, economic, and natural capital to steward their territories for future generations.


  • Developing formal terrestrial and marine use plans that reflect significant community and ecological values.
  • Building community leadership and capacity for implementing and maintaining effective stewardship practices.
  • Fostering vibrant economies for communities that reinforce the cultural and environmental heritage of the region.
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier

Impact Stories

From the Blog

Howe Sound/Atl’ka7tsem Marine Reference Guide: protecting, restoring, and stewarding marine environmental health

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Interview with Tara Marsden, Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office

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Remembering Bruce Hill, fellow advocate and friend

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