Fellows Network

Valerie Langer

ForestEthics, Director of British Columbia Forest Campaigns

Vancouver, Canada

Valerie is primarily engaged in implementation of ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest, 6.4 million hectares/15 million acres of temperate rainforest on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She co-founded ForestEthics as a coalition project and joined the organization as an employee in 2006.

Through political advocacy, leveraging marketplace pressure and application of science-based principles to forest management, ForestEthics has worked to create a new model for large scale conservation that includes initiatives to concurrently achieve human well being for the indigenous population in the region. The process involves a collaborative model with the logging industry, environmental NGOs and the provincial and First Nations (indigenous) governments. Environmental NGO’s secured a $120 million fund for First Nations Economic Development and Conservation Management. To date 2.1 million hectares are protected from logging; new logging regulations have set another 700,000 ha (1.68 million acres) of forests and species habitat off limits to logging; and First Nations communities are beginning to access the Coast Opportunities Fund for conservation compatible businesses (e.g. shellfish growing, non-timber forest product development).

Valerie has been engaged in forest conservation campaigns for over twenty years, working as the Forest Campaigner for Friends of Clayoquot Sound from 1988 to 2004. In the early 1990’s, she pioneered the market campaign strategy of influencing logging companies’ practices by engaging their commercial customers to pressure them to change. She continues to consult on a project to encourage major North American pulp mills to utilize agricultural byproducts such as wheat straw (as they do in India and China) as an alternative to using primary forests for pulp and paper.

Updated June 2012.