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Fisheries reconciliation key to building conservation-based economy – Corporate Knights Magazine



“When I was a child, each of our villages had a fleet of small boats for families to fish and gather their food. Most of us men were also commercial fishermen on gillnetters, trollers or seine boats. Our villages were wealthy; we had good food for the table and decent incomes. But within two generations, we were displaced – kicked out. There are very few fishing vessels in our communities today, and I am one of only a handful of men who still fish commercially. In my lifetime, we have become poor in what is still a rich environment.”

– Arnold Clifton, Chief Councillor, Gitga’at Nation

It’s always hard to accept that you’re heading down the wrong path. Just ask fishery managers along the Atlantic Coast, who saw, within their lifetimes, the seemingly inexhaustible cod drastically reduced in numbers, and the eventual collapse of a fishery that was the foundation of coastal communities and economies. It was a case of taking too much, too often, with too little thought given to future generations.

Here on the West Coast, we’ve experienced our own fisheries collapse, too, as populations of salmon and other culturally and ecologically important species experience drastic reductions. These marine species have supported First Nations of the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii for millennia; they are the essential ingredient in maintaining our cultures, long-term food security and sustainable economies.

As with other natural resource declines across North America, the problem with fisheries management over the past century has been not just a matter of unsustainable extraction practices that have taken more from the sea than could ever be replenished. It’s also that decision-making power and control were taken from First Nations – the people with the most to lose if sustainability is overlooked.

The landmark Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA) between Coastal First Nations and Canada’s federal government – initially signed in 2019 – aims to turn the corner on those historic wrongs while creating a fisheries management model based on sustainability and true co-governance. The agreement was amended this summer to establish the next planning steps for new community-based commercial fisheries.

Reconciliation is a long and complicated process. When it comes to fisheries along the North Pacific Coast of Canada, reconciliation begins with lessons learned from past injustices and mistakes – decades of overfishing, bad management decisions and authority wrested from the very people whose ancestors have managed these coastal resources for thousands of years. It’s about recognizing injustices and righting wrongs, both past and present, but it’s also about rebuilding trust and starting over. This latter part is the most important but also the most difficult. It’s what sets us out on a new, better path together.

By working together with the federal government on a nation-to-nation basis through the FRRA, the Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Metlakatla, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv Nations will provide opportunities for their communities to not only participate but lead the way in this revitalized economy. The agreement upholds First Nations’ priority access to food fisheries. It also ensures greater access to commercial fisheries and increased say in how fisheries are managed. It will stimulate the coastal economy, create new jobs and restore a livelihood in commercial fishing that has long been a major source of income in our communities. 

It will mean young people can once again look to fishing as a good and stable career.

Reconciliation is a long and complicated process.

For signatory First Nations, this agreement will mean increased involvement in existing commercial fisheries using the market to purchase licences, quotas, vessels and gear. A new type of commercial fishery – called a community-based fishery – will be developed to support local small-boat fleets. And an increase in vessels will ensure more families can access culturally important fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

The beauty of the FRRA is that it offers flexibility for each community to choose its own path. Some will start commercial fisheries immediately, while others will choose to rebuild stock in their territories first. And some will work to do both. 

Beyond the economic benefits, fisheries management through the FRRA could become a blueprint for improved resource-management efforts worldwide. The FRRA will be managed through a co-governance process between First Nations and the federal government. Its approach respects First Nations’ autonomy and sovereignty while incorporating both cutting-edge science and ancestral knowledge to establish more effective fisheries management plans. Conservation and restoring stocks, especially salmon, will be foundational. These new fisheries plans will protect and conserve fish for the benefit of all Canadians by using up-to-date stock and catch numbers based on ongoing monitoring work by Coastal Guardian Watchmen and other stewardship staff.

For Coastal First Nations, fisheries reconciliation is one part of a much larger vision. It’s the culmination of extensive work over the past decade safeguarding the marine environment, fighting oil pipelines and ensuring passage of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which prohibits large oil tankers from traversing our coastal waters and threatening diverse species. 

These landmark achievements in fisheries management and marine protection are complemented by ongoing work to protect and sustainably manage the forest-based resources of our territories. By signing the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements in 2016, along with British Columbia, we made a commitment to collaborative land planning using an ecosystem-based management approach, and in the process created the largest Indigenous-led carbon offset project in Canada. 

Taken together, these efforts support our unwavering goal of building a true conversation-based economy in our coastal territories – driven by sustainable fisheries, clean energy and ecotourism, instead of unsustainable activities that have proven so destructive. 

In a world facing two major and worsening crises – climate change and biodiversity loss – we believe this sustainable vision is needed now, more than ever. For our coastal communities, but also for others across the country and beyond. 

Christine Smith-Martin is the executive director of the Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative.

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Dollar set for another week of losses even as Fed tapering looms



The dollar was heading for a second week of declines on Friday as sentiment stayed tilted towards riskier assets, while an intervention by the Australian central bank put a halt to the Aussie dollar’s recent surge.

The dollar index was last at 93.733, little changed in Asian hours but off 0.24% on the week, as it continues its fall from a 12-month high of 94.565 hit in earlier this month.

It had managed to stem losses on Thursday, bouncing on better U.S. jobs and housing data, but the rally petered out on Friday morning in Asia, where risk sentiment was boosted news that beleaguered developer China Evergrande Group has supplied funds to pay interest on a U.S. dollar bond, averting a default.

But traders are still trying to assess whether the dollar has scope to fall further, or if this is a temporary blip on a march higher.

“People are wondering whether we are at an inflection point, as the dollar has been weakening and that doesn’t really fit with the broader narrative that global growth is cooling and the Fed is on the path to tapering, which should be supportive for the dollar,” said Paul Mackel, global head of FX research at HSBC.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were at 1.6872%, slightly off from Thursday’s multi-month high of 1.7%, as markets continue to prepare themselves for an announcement by the Federal Reserve that it will start to wind down its massive bond buying programme, which is widely expected for November.

Mackel said part of the reason for the dollar’s weakness had been strong performances by currencies from most commodity exporting countries.

These were quieter on Friday, however, as traders took profits, analysts said, and energy prices softened.

Brent crude, which had risen above $86 dollars a barrel on Thursday, continued its tumble and was last at $84.10.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7475, off Thursday’s three-month top, as the boost to the China-exposed currency from Evergrande’s news was outweighed by action from the Reserve Bank of Australia to stem a bond sell off, as well as the pause in energy price rises.

The RBA said on Friday it had stepped in to defend its yield target for the first time in eight months, spending A$1 billion ($750 million) to dampen an aggressive bonds sell-off as traders have bet on inflation pulling forward rate hikes.

Also affected by energy prices, the Canadian dollar slipped to C$1.2352 per U.S. dollar, off Thursday’s C$1.2287, a level last seen in June.

The British pound paused for breath at $1.3798, off a month peak hit earlier in the week, to which it had been carried by growing expectations of an interest rate hike to combat rising inflationary pressures.

The euro was little changed at $1.1627, while the yen wobbled within sight of its multi-year lows, with one dollar worth 114.01 yen, compared with 114.69 earlier in the week, a four-year low.

China’s yuan eased against the dollar on Friday after the FX regulator warned of possible action if the currency market is hit by greater volatility following its recent rally. But the yuan still looked set for the biggest weekly gain since May.

Bitcoin was at $63,928, a little off Wednesday’s all-time high of $67,016


(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill)

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UN sets up trust fund for 'people's economy' in Afghanistan – The Globe and Mail



A general view ahead of an aid conference for Afghanistan at the United Nations in Geneva on Sept. 13.DENIS BALIBOUSE/Reuters

The United Nations said on Thursday it had set up a special trust fund to provide urgently needed cash directly to Afghans through a system tapping into donor funds frozen since the Taliban takeover in August.

With the local economy “imploding”, the aim is to inject liquidity into Afghan households to permit them to survive this winter and remain in their homeland, it said.

Achim Steiner, the U.N. Development Programme’s (UNDP) administrator said Germany, a first contributor, had pledged 50 million euros ($58 million) to the fund, and that it was in touch with other donors to mobilize resources.

Some 97% of Afghan households could be living below the poverty line by mid-2022, according to UNDP.

“We have to step in, we have to stabilize a ‘people’s economy’ and in addition to saving lives we also have to save livelihoods,” Steiner told a news briefing.

“Because otherwise we will confront indeed a scenario through this winter and into next year where millions and millions of Afghans are simply unable to stay on their land, in their homes, in their villages and survive,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that Afghanistan’s economy was set to contract up to 30% this year and this was likely to further fuel a refugee crisis that would affect neighbouring countries, Turkey and Europe.

The Taliban takeover saw billions in central bank assets frozen and international financial institutions suspend access to funds, although humanitarian aid has continued. Banks are running out of money, civil servants have not been paid and food prices have soared.

Steiner said the challenge was to repurpose donor funds already earmarked for Afghanistan, where the Taliban, the de facto authorities, are not recognized internationally. The fund allows the international community to be “confident enough that these funds are not meant as government-to-government funding”, he said.


The U.N. has discussed the programmes with the Taliban, he said, noting that 80% of the micro-businesses being helped were led by women.

“Our greatest challenge right now is that there is a economy in which there is virtually no domestic currency in circulation,” Steiner said, adding that the U.N. wanted to avoid foreign currencies dominating, which would undermine the economy.

“Our intent is to find ways very quickly in which we can convert international support into local currency in order to be able to stimulate local markets, local livelihoods. This is how you keep an economy alive,” he said.

Kanni Wignaraja, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for the Asia Pacific, said that cash would be provided to Afghan workers in public works programmes, such as drought and flood control programmes, and grants given to micro-enterprises. Temporary basic income would be paid to the vulnerable elderly and disabled, she said.

The UNDP had costed activities to be covered over the first 12 months at approximately $667 million, she said.

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This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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Province Invests in Midland Automotive Parts Manufacturer to Boost Local Economy – Government of Ontario News



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Province Invests in Midland Automotive Parts Manufacturer to Boost Local Economy  Government of Ontario News

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