Great Bear Rainforest Agreement Effectiveness

Essay by t968rsUniversity, Bachelor'sB, October 2007

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70084250-Papia-Political Science 160.002 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement: Cooperation and International Organizations

Deforestation of large, intact forest landscapes has been a theme of industrialization of

Canada, especially in the past three decades. The Great Bear Rainforest, in British Columbia, re-

mains the largest temperate rainforest on the planet and has become increasingly threatened by

logging since the 1980s (Sizer 45). The Great Bear is home to thousands of mammalian land and

sea based animals, rare birds, reptiles and amphibians, majestic cedar and sitka spruce "old

growth" trees, and over 30 aboriginal communities and as a result of its inaccessibility, remained

unexploited until recently. The aboriginals, collectively named First Nations, and the Liberal

British Columbian government have conflicting land-use agreement interests. The Crown recog-

nizes small tracts of land for use by First Nations, but rewards logging companies like Weyer-

haeuser, Western Forest Products, InterFor, Husby Forest Products, and others large grants of

public land for deforestation and lumber export. These organizations utilize clear-cutting regimes

to collect lumber, a problematic practice for the aboriginals because it renders the land useless

and inorganic.

The state actors in this scenario being the Liberal Crown and First Nations, there exists a

significant enforcement problem because the Columbian government has incentives to defect

from an agreement. The representative power of the First Nations was persistently vacuous prior

to interference by intergovernmental organizations, presumably as a result of the capital power of

the Coast Forest Conservation Initiative (CFCI) - the organization created by forestry companies

to collectively combat anti-deforestation - and the 7% hold it has on the Columbian labor force

(Hoberg 1). Any agreement is simply an expenditure for the government and the forestry compa-

nies, eliminating the cooperation possibility derived from 'shadow of future' encounters.

The same dynamics that imbibe an inherent enforcement problem...