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Not everyone is able to see all of the planet they desire to protect.
But Dax Dasilva is. The Montreal-based tech entrepreneur, born in B.C. Recently donated $14.5 millionTo the B.C. Parks Foundation. This cash, the largest single donation by a private donor in the foundation’s history will ensure that two parcels of land that are ecologically sensitive will never be developed.
“In order fight climate change we need to invest more,” said the multimillionaire. He recently resigned from his role as CEO at Lightspeed in order spend more time with his environmental charity. Age of Union.
“There is a doom and gloom narrative about the environment. I believe we need to change that narrative to one of hope, especially considering all we have accomplished.”
The French Creek Estuary will be protected as a migration ground for thousands of eagles, located on eastern Vancouver Island near Qualicum Beach. It also protects the Upper Pitt River watershed northeast of Vancouver, which is home salmon spawning areas, a herds of elks, and grizzly Bears. Together, the donation will save more than 300 hectares.
It is a common practice for rich people to buy up land to preserve it. This includes the contributions of the Rockefeller family, an oil-rich family, to the U.S. National Park System.
Andrew Day, the president and CEO of the B.C. Foundation, says that the climate crisis is getting worse and people want to do something to address it. Parks Foundation.
He stated, “The more you destroy the land, the worse it will affect the climate.”
Land protection is gaining popularity
We often speak of greenhouse gas emissions from activities such as DrivingOr Consuming meatAccording to the UN, climate change is also caused by the loss of carbon-absorbing green areas. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It’s not just super-wealthy that are trying to make an impact by protecting them.
The French Creek Estuary purchase is a great example of how small and large donations can work together to protect sensitive ecosystems.
For example, the landowners donated more than half the land’s value, a gift worth more than $3.2million. Dasilva donated $1 million, while the District of Nanaimo contributed $400,000. The remaining $500,000 came from a crowdfunding campaign in which concerned citizens could offer any amount of money.
Day said, “Dax really is shoulder-to-shoulder” with the tens of thousand of people who are supporting us during these land purchases. It certainly inspires others.
According to the group of researchers, environmental charities accounted, in 2021, for 5.1% online charitable donations. CanadaHelps.org. This is far less than donations for health, social services, or religious charities.
Carey Hamel is the director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Manitoba Region. She says that selling land or donating it to conservation organizations is also a popular option.
He said, “It’s more people calling and wanting to leave a lasting legacy, fully understanding the significance of their land and its role in a healthy planet.”
Land values are important
Hamel explained that land values have increased and people have been pleasantly surprised by how much their land is worth.
Some owners decide to sell a portion of their land to an organization like the Nature Conservancy and then donate the rest. This is a way to maximize profit, rather than selling to developers. This way, they get three benefits: the sale of a portion of the land and the donation of the rest. tax benefitThe portion donated will be kept confidential.
Hamel said, “The donors that come here, they know these special places are important.”
Thor Vikstrm recently donated le Ronde, an island measuring 2.8 hectares, to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Dasilva’s donation also has a personal connection. His environmental-activist roots go back to when he was a teenager, joining the protests against old growth logging at Clayoquot Sound. Protecting land in British Columbia was a smart decision. It made sense.
“It was B.C. that made me fall in love the natural world.” Da Silva said.
Traditional land use continues
Members of the Katzie Nation, whose traditional territory includes part of the Pitt River watershed, initially reacted skeptically to Dasilva’s donation.
Rick Bailey, an elected band councillor, said that initially there was concern. He and other First Nation members were concerned that the B.C. The Parks Foundation would stop them hunting elk or other traditional uses of the land.
For decades, the First Nation has worked tirelessly to protect it. One time, a developer wanted to mine the land for gravel. Another time, plans were made for a resort. Bailey was grateful to learn that traditional practices could be maintained and that the land would be protected.
The B.C. Parks Federation announced that it is working with the Katzie First Nation to create a memorandum on understanding regarding stewardship, use and management of the lands.
Bailey stated, “We will continue the use of the land and resource as we always have.”
He said that wealthy donors may be required to protect land and keep them that way.
Bailey stated, “There’s more of it happening and I’m happy it’s happening.” “We didn’t have the money.”