The B.C. Government says they are taking more steps to conserve nature for the long-term health and well-being of communities.
The province says they are taking these steps as they release a draft biodiversity and ecosystem health framework. They say it complements actions taken to improve stewardship of its lands, forests and water, such as the Old Growth Strategic Review.
“Healthy ecosystems are dynamic and resilient,” said the draft framework. “They are adapted to natural disturbances at scales that vary based on ecosystem attributes such as climate, species, topography and soils.”
According to the draft, the framework will “set the stage” for the desired shift from a land management system that prioritizes resource extraction, to one that prioritizes conservation ecosystem management.
“Our government is building comprehensive and integrated initiatives to protect the environment, including conservation financing, our accelerated action to protect old-growth forests and our commitment to conserve 30 per cent of B.C.’s land base by 2030,” said water, land and resource stewardship minister Nathan Cullen.
The province says changes will require specific sets of laws, necessary tools, and a transition that does not unfairly impact certain sectors or communities.
Healthy ecosystems, advancement of reconciliation through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, effective stewardship and making resilient communities and economies are all goals under the draft framework.
They add that to do this, they will need to take a “whole-of-government” approach, a “whole-of-society approach and adopt an open and transparent process.
“People in B.C. share a deep connection to nature, from our ancient forests and diverse wildlife to our coastal waters and mountain ranges,” said Cullen.
“Together, we are charting the next steps for conserving B.C.’s rich biodiversity and healthy ecosystems that support us all.”
The framework is expected to be done by early next year after consultation.