Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Tracking the Great Bear: How Environmentalists Recreated British Columbia's Coastal Rainforest

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Tracking the Great Bear: How Environmentalists Recreated British Columbia's Coastal Rainforest

Article excerpt

Page, Justin. Tracking the Great Bear: How Environmentalists Recreated British Columbia's Coastal Rainforest. Vancouver: UBC / University of British Columbia Press, 2014, 145 p.

In his first scholarly book, Canadian scholar Justin Page retells in sociological terms a success story made in Canada: the restoration of the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR), a vast 1.8 hectare territory located in coastal British Columbia (BC), a long-term project that culminated in 2006. This extraordinary environmental adventure of over ten years was quite complex to achieve because it implied the restoration and a "rebalancing" of various elements and stakeholders in a place originally inhabited by First Nations. When this whole project began, the aim was to give back a vast region that was massively exploited by the lumber industry (p. 64). This unbelievable conversion from a partly exploited zone into a valued, protected ecosystem was due to a wide mobilization of various networks, citizenship involvement and pressure on authorities and industries, and a general awareness of many Canadians who realised that rainforests were not only located in Amazonia or South American countries, but in Canada as well. The common point between Canada and Brazil was that both rainforests were equally and savagely exploited. Justin Page's book explains how all stakeholders slowly accepted this transformation "for the better", and how it took place, step by step. One has to admit that back then (and still today) the Canadian rainforest was not really well known by Canadians, so there was no strong sense of belonging.

Unlike Ian and Karen McAllister's The Great Bear Rainforest (1997), Tracking the Great Bear is not a "coffee table book" and contains no photographs. …

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