Art Sterritt, the recipient of the 2014 Bright Award, visited campus to deliver a lecture on the process of establishing the Great Bear Rainforest, a 250-mile stretch of coastline in Canada that accounts for a quarter of the world’s remaining coastal temperate rainforests. Sterritt established the Coastal First Nations alliance, made up of a variety of local stakeholders, to manage the conservation efforts and establish a framework for how business could be conducted in the area. Any work proposed for the area must meet strict environmental standards enforced by the alliance. In evaluating proposals, the group regularly engages with indigenous populations and a variety of scientific researchers. Establishing an avenue for negotiation and oversight allows stakeholders to be part of the process and ensure that decisions are made responsibly.

The Bright Award is given by Stanford Law School in collaboration with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and honors significant achievement in conservation in different regions of the world; it is the top environmental award at Stanford.