Photo: Joe Riis / ILCP

Speak up for BC’s biodiversity

The BC Government is creating a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Declaration and Legislation – but words mean nothing without action. Tell the Provincial government BC’s ecosystems and the species that rely on them need to be put first and protected with meaningful legislation.

British Columbia has the richest biodiversity of any province in Canada, it also has the greatest number of species and ecosystems at risk. It is one of the only provinces without a law to protect species at risk and the habitats they depend on.

Our current land management strategy in BC ensures that resource development decisions are made in isolation and are managed first for their economic value. Business as usual is bad news for BC’s ecosystems and wildlife when the cumulative effects stack up. Our wild places are no stranger to the term ‘death by a thousand cuts’ – it’s time for a provincial framework that puts the health of our land, air, waters, and wildlife first.

Every day without a modernized framework pushes the 1900+ at-risk species, subspecies, and ecosystems closer to disappearing forever.

Premier Eby has explicitly asked Minister Cullen to implement the recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review. A framework of legislation and tools co-developed with Indigenous Nations that prioritize ecosystem and biodiversity health is critical and urgent.

Write to Premier Eby and Minister of Lands, Waters, and Resource Stewardship Nathan Cullen today and tell them their declaration must be backed up with action and accountability.

The intent to develop this declaration is a necessary step in the right direction. Write to Premier Eby and Minister of Lands, Waters, and Resource Stewardship Nathan Cullen today to show your support to meaningfully enact this declaration and legislation to protect fish, wildlife and threatened ecosystems, before it is too late!

In your own words, write a message to Premier David Eby and Minister of Lands, Waters, and Natural Resources, Nathan Cullen, asking for their government to develop a declaration and strong legislation which prioritizes ecosystem health and biodiversity protection. We have highlighted some key points below for a strong declaration:

  • Shifts the focus of land management to ecosystem health first. Healthy ecosystems are needed for the long-term sustainability of both wildlife populations and economies. 
  • Is co-developed with Indigenous Nations recognizing their place as long-time stewards of the environment and doing so in a way that upholds their inherent jurisdiction.
  • Must be implemented urgently. Here in the Kootenay and Columbia region, seven caribou herds have been declared functionally extirpated since 2014. We have no time to delay.
  • Has the scope to include all ecosystems including terrestrial and aquatic (e.g. forests, grasslands, deserts, rivers and estuaries).
  • Has the strength to truly protect habitats for endangered species and ecosystems. Words will not be enough. A declaration must be paired with legislation to ensure success and accountability. 
  • Would help the province achieve its goal to protect 30% of BC’s lands and waters by 2030.
  • Would align with the NDP’s election promise to create legislation to protect species at risk.

To: David Eby, Premier
Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

For Wildsight updates.