Endangered Species Protection
Despite having some of the richest wildlife in North America, and more endangered species than any other province or territory, British Columbia is one of only two provinces in Canada without an endangered species law. It was an election commitment of the new government to change that. Public consultation was done in 2018, and OFC worked with allies (including several non-OFC organizations) to ensure government heard this new law must:
- Protect the habitat of at-risk species and the ecosystems they need to recover them to a healthy state;
- Include interim habitat protection so that species and ecosystems do not continue to decline before recovery plans are completed and implemented;
- Be proactive – it is easier and less expensive to recover species before they’re threatened or endangered; and
- Recognize the inherent value of species and ecosystems, and the critical role healthy ecosystems play in supporting healthy human societies and economies.
Eleven conservation groups submitted joint principles that would inform a meaningful law to safeguard the web of life as we know it in British Columbia, and give our species at risk a path to recovery. However, there’s been very little more said about the process towards a new law since that consultation process, and time is running out to meet this commitment within the current mandate.
Science-based, expedited protection for species and ecosystems was never more urgent than it is today, in light of ongoing habitat destruction and the accelerating impacts of global warming. We call on the BC government to ensure the new law is the best (most protective) biodiversity protection law in the country.