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Forest carbon offset projects in coastal British Columbia : Aboriginal criteria, awareness and preferences Sparrow, Lori

Abstract

Aboriginal groups are still developing recognition of their rights, title and capacity to co-manage their forestland. Provincially there are a number of changes in legislation and regulation that affect Aboriginal groups, particularly in the area of climate change. Aboriginal groups that are actively negotiating their legal rights need to integrate the discussion of climate change, particularly in the area of forests with their evolving legal rights. Aboriginal groups have been proactive in British Columbia but there are many critical gaps that should be explored. My objectives are to identify the key cultural, social, environmental and economic criteria of five selected Aboriginal groups in British Columbia for forest carbon offset projects, to assess their awareness and to identify their key preferences in forest carbon agreements. I travelled to five Aboriginal communities where I conducted twenty individual interviews in total to collect the qualitative data to support my research objectives. Results showed all five selected Aboriginal groups are struggling with balancing economic and environmental values for managing their forests. Cultural, social, and environmental values were closely related to each other and were preferred over economic values. However, there was recognition of the importance of generating revenue and creating employment from forest resources. The five selected Aboriginal groups in this study are at different stages of looking at carbon offsets as a new, potential forestry activity to add to their economic development portfolios. Approximately half of the Aboriginal groups in this study have a low awareness of basic carbon terminology. There was no consensus across the five Aboriginal groups for preferences for carbon project types, acceptable forest stand tending techniques and contractual arrangements, except for a high group-to-group consensus across the five Aboriginal groups on a renewable type of carbon contractual arrangement.

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Attribution 3.0 Unported

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