08 Aug Clayoquot Sound, West Coast Vancouver Island, Canada
The Clayoquot Sound, a sub-region of WCVI, is home to the Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and Hesquiaht First Nations. Extending from Estevan Point on Hesquiaht Peninsula in the north to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in the south, it encompasses lush rainforests, magnificent beaches, and several large islands including Flores, Vargas and Meares. Clayoquot Sound is the largest area of ancient temperate rainforest left on Vancouver Island and has been declared a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Despite the region having tremendous natural assets and opportunities, the area also faces significant challenges. In the mid-1990s, leaders from the West Coast of Vancouver Island came together to discuss key issues: declining fish stocks and increased species at risk; pollution; lack of coastal community access to adjacent resources; unresolved First Nations title, rights, and reconciliation; increased debt and declining funding; lack of governance credibility; social problems; climate change; marine hazards; invasive species; conflicting coastal uses; and food security. The leaders came to the conclusion that there was not one single cause, and not one single cure. Everything is connected. To affect change, a collective effort was required and the West Coast Vancouver Island Aquatic Management Board (now known as ‘West Coast Aquatic’) was born. West Coast Aquatic provides several consensus-based forums, including a Governance Board that makes policy recommendations to government, and multi-sector roundtables for salmon management, for involving First Nations and other local communities in decision-making.