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Nature Conservancy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Civics, English Language Arts, Justice, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Video, 6 minutes, 35 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 5 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 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.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • 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-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
      • D2.Civ.11.9-12 Evaluate multiple procedures for making governmental decisions at the local, state, national, and international levels in terms of the civic purposes achieved.
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • D2.Eco.7.9-12 Use benefits and costs to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies to improve market outcomes.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.4.9-12 Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
      • D2.His.14.9-12 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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