"VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND
səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES: WWF-Canada and the David Suzuki
Foundation welcome the news that Chevron Canada Limited has relinquished 19
offshore oil and gas exploration permits within sensitive marine areas on
Canada’s west coast. The two conservation organizations, represented by
Ecojustice lawyers, disputed these permits in a court challenge launched in
These permits lay within the Hecate Strait/Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge
Reefs Marine Protected Area and the Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife
Area. The rare and ancient reefs are the largest among several others found
along the coast of B.C. and Alaska. Collectively these reefs remove between 136
and 317 tonnes of CO2 daily. The Scott Islands represent one of the most
diverse marine ecosystems on Canada’s west coast, supporting the coast’s
highest concentration of breeding seabirds.
The permits, granted more than 50 years ago, have been a cause of grave concern
for the environmental conservation groups, who launched a court challenge after
efforts to encourage the voluntary surrender of the permits were unsuccessful.
Following Chevron’s surrender, the groups have discontinued the legal
challenge, which never proceeded to a full hearing.
While this marks an important milestone for the protection of these two areas,
Canada’s coast continues to face ongoing risk from potential oil and gas
projects. The government continues to treat similar exploratory permits as
valid in other areas of the British Columbia offshore.
Canada made recent commitments at the Conference of the Parties to the
Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the International Marine
Protected Area Congress (IMPAC5) to be a leader in conservation and halt and
reverse biodiversity loss. The groups call on industry and the government to
demonstrate their commitment to marine protection by relinquishing or
cancelling the remaining permits, which were not at issue in the discontinued
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics