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Ancient Forest Alliance offering Stanley Park tree tours in Mandarin, Cantonese

CBC News - Chad Pawson, October 23, 2016

Ancient Forest Alliance offering Stanley Park tree tours in Mandarin, Cantonese
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Photo by: Jacy Schindel/CBC

Ken Wu, with the Ancient Forest Alliance, trains volunteer guides who speak Mandarin or Cantonese as part of a new engagement plan to help protect old growth forests in B.C.

Here's a CBC piece about the launch of our Chinese-Language Ancient Forest Tours (at least the training for the volunteers - the actual public tours in Mandarin and Cantonese are still at least a couple months away). Take note that these will simply be public nature walks (not protests or anything like that!), and it's through the AFA that tour participants can later choose to find out how they can take action to protect other areas - but the emphasis on the tours is to simply see the big trees and learn about the ecology, plants, animals, and conservation status of old-growth forests in Mandarin and Cantonese. Also note that we're not anti-logging, but rather we support sustainable second-growth forestry but are against the logging of endangered old-growth forests, such as those on Vancouver Island and in the southwest mainland etc..

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B.C.'s Ancient Forest Alliance is hoping to draw Chinese language speakers to its cause by offering Stanley Park nature tours in Mandarin and Cantonese.

"Our goal is to expand the ancient forest movement," said Ken Wu with the alliance on Saturday, as he walked through the park with a small team of potential guides.

"I think in the Lower Mainland, the most important way we can help protect old growth forests is to engage a massive chunk of the population which we haven't engaged in the past."

According to 2011 Canadian census data, close to 350,000 Metro Vancouver residents say they speak a Chinese language.

While Stanley Park is a protected space with massive, old growth trees, the goal from the alliance is to teach more Chinese-Canadians about the trees' history and importance, ecologically, across the province.

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"The goal here will be to increase the level of conservation and awareness so that people can take part in democracy and make sure their voices are heard for protection of the unprotected ancient forest," Wu said.

"They are vital for the climate, for endangered species, for clean water, for tourism, for First Nations' culture."

Wu, along with others from the alliance, hope to show off Stanley Park's Tatlow and Lovers trails, where four-metre-wide, 800-year-old red cedars still stand.

The volunteer guides are being trained in English, but will then work with translators from the Hua Foundation to create materials to be able to conduct the specialized tours in either Mandarin or Cantonese.

Wu hopes the walks could commence as early as December and, if successful, be expanded to the Walbran Valley, Avatar Grove, Eden Grove, and Echo Lake Ancient forests.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ancient-forest-alliance-chinese-language-stanley-park-tours-1.3817704


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