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Battle to save woodland caribou goes to court today!

The Beaver Lake Cree Nation's efforts to stop the tar sands and save the caribou took a huge step forward today.   The Beaver Lake Cree, Athabasca Chipewyan and Enoch Cree First Nations are in court today and tomorrow seeking to force the Canadian government to protect the habitat of the woodland caribou, a threatened species. This would halt over half of all tar sands expansion plans, including those of BP, Exxon and StatOil.

RAVEN is pleased to have been able to help by raising the funds to cover the costs of this judicial review.  And while this may end up just delaying things (the traditional approach by government if found to be in breach of a statute is to just go to Parliament and change the statute, rather than amend the problem) - it will help to raise the flags that the unmitigated rate of industrial expansion is not just threatening species, but all of us.

Here is the press release, issue by the legal team representing the three First Nations.  In it, Chief Henry Gladue of Beaver Lake Cree Nation says, “For us, this is an example of why everyone should raise their voice against the tar sands developments. The caribou are already suffering. Will we let our other animals also disappear? We need habitat for our animals like the caribou to ensure there is a healthy surplus. These animals sustain us and as they die our future becomes uncertain. Mother Earth needs us to act now.”

woodland caribouAnd Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipewyan is also quoted.  “The caribou are disappearing,” said Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipewyan. “We have asked the federal government to protect caribou, but nothing has been done. Alberta is also doing nothing to provide meaningful protection. The courts are the only route left to us. We launched this legal action because we are demanding the federal government call an immediate halt to the destruction of our lands, the land that sustains the caribou, our treaty rights and our culture.”

EcoJustice, who also launched a similar legal action, prepared this Caribou Backgrounder.  The Cooperative Bank helped immensely to fund this - by covering the costs of the study done by University of Alberta caribou biologist Dr. Stan Boutin.  His work is summarized in this report called Save the Caribou, Stop the Tar Sands.

So take a moment to read through.  And then consider that this small group is creating momentum for mighty change.  They are in the eyes of many, the leaders in a cry for climate justice - because the tar sands developments, as the largest industrial project on the planet, have the capabiltiy of taking our planet past the tipping point for global warming.  We are aiming for 350... we are at about 390... and if all the bitumen is extracted and burned, the process will put us WAY over by adding another 65 ppm of greenhouse gas emissions.  

Let's support them in this struggle.  Please share this with your friends...  and consider donating to help.

Posted by Admin Wednesday Jun 22, 2011 08:00
Categories: Beaver Lake Cree, BP, Climate Change, Environment | Tags: Aboriginal, Alberta, Beaver Lake Cree, BP, climate, climate justice, Cooperative Bank, environment, First Nations, indigenous, lakes, oil sands, tailings pond, tar sands

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