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Nature Conservancy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 6 minutes, 35 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 46 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America

How the Emerald Edge Rainforest Could Help Change the World

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  • In this article and accompanying videos, students will learn about the Emerald Edge, it's importance as a climate solution, how Indigenous Peoples are using their rights and relationships to protect it, and how carbon offsets play a role in their continued protection.
Teaching Tips


  • Two of the videos use a 360-degree view, which is unique and engaging!
  • There are many opportunities in this article for extension and further research.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may be beneficial if students have some background knowledge about some of the Indigenous groups mentioned in the article, as well as the importance of nature in their culture.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of the carbon cycle, what greenhouse gases are, and the role forests play in the carbon cycle.
  • Students should be familiar with the terms sequester, steward, emissions, old-growth forests, deforestation, and hectare.


  • Economics classes can discuss carbon offset credits and social studies classes can discuss and further research the cultural importance this region has for Indigenous Peoples.
  • Students can make a list of the many benefits of the Emerald Edge and categorize these benefits into those that were intended, such as sequestering more carbon, and those that are "downstream" benefits, such as economic benefits for the Indigenous Peoples.
  • Civics classes can research and discuss the agreements made between the First Nations and the government and discuss the idea that nature and other species should have the right to exist.
  • Students can discuss the difference between new-growth and old-growth forests and their ability to sequester carbon, highlighting that the conservation and preservation of old-growth forests are most important.
  • History classes can study the War in the Woods and create a timeline of important events that are mentioned in the article, as well as the cause and effect relationship of these events.
  • After watching the first video, students can discuss the importance of cedar to the culture of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and make a list of the uses mentioned in the video.
  • Students can create a map of the Emerald Edge, marking specific places that were talked about in the article and the videos.
  • Multilingual learners and/or students who struggle with auditory processing may benefit from slowing the video's playback speed and/or utilizing the closed captioning function on the videos.
  • Students with low reading comprehension may benefit from reading this article as a class or using a graphic organizer to organize the key details of the reading.
Scientist Notes
This resource from The Nature Conservancy explores the Emerald Edge forest and its potential to provide carbon offsets to help reach future climate goals. Throughout, the connection between Indigenous Peoples and the forest is highlighted, as well as the role that First Nations play in implementing natural climate solutions in the Emerald Edge. Two interactive 360° videos are included that show the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and their connection to (and stewardship of) cedars and the Ahousaht First Nation in Clayoquot Sound. Both of these videos are best viewed on a mobile device, where simply tilting the phone allows students to see the forest around them. Several case studies present success stories, where people’s livelihoods, biodiversity of the forest, and the climate are protected through smart forest conservation and carbon markets. This resource is interactive, informative, and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
      • HS-LS2-5. Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
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