Dedication of the Great Bear Rainforest
Bella Bella, British Columbia, Monday, September 26, 2016
I begin by acknowledging we are gathered today on the traditional territory of the Heiltsuk First Nation.
It’s wonderful to see you all here for this dedication of the Great Bear Rainforest.
And, Your Royal Highnesses, thank you for being here to dedicate this forest as part of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
When you were at Rideau Hall five years ago, you planted a tree—an eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)—and now here you are, helping us to protect a rainforest!
Your tree is doing very well, I should add—and it’s probably the most popular tree at Rideau Hall!
The Great Bear Rainforest has been called “the jewel in the crown” of Canada’s protected areas, and I think it’s a perfect match for the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.
This is a truly special forest.
It’s home to an incredible diversity of species and wildlife, and is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world.
It’s also home to people from many different walks of life. First Nations and non-Aboriginal communities, governments, industries and environmental groups all worked together to protect it for future generations.
The Great Bear Rainforest agreement is an inspiring model of partnership and reconciliation for Canadians and for people worldwide.
It demonstrates what is possible when we work together to find common ground.
And now, this forest is also a symbol of our connection to our Commonwealth partners.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative is a fine example of Her Majesty’s dedication to the Commonwealth and to Canada.
Hers is an extraordinary legacy, and so is this global network of forests.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard for so many years to make this remarkable agreement possible. It’s wonderful to have the Great Bear Rainforest join this majestic, worldwide canopy.
And thank you, Your Royal Highnesses, for showing your support for our environment.