Take action for nature in BC!
BC Nature provides opportunities for British Columbians to work together to have an impact on an expanding list of environmental goals to protect our planet. Our first campaigns deal with:
- Meeting the climate emergency
- Protecting biological diversity and increasing the area of protected places in British Columbia from 15.4% to 25%, the current United Nations international goal
- Identify our environmental goals
- Invite participation
- Establish strategies
- Develop leadership
- Stimulate effective conversations
- Build consensus
- Interact with levels of government
- Measure our progress in terms of support and impact
Roberts Bank Terminal 2
The RBT2 proponent, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, in their closing statement, dismissed environmental issues, claiming that RBT2 impacts would be minimal and can easily be mitigated, counter to Environment Canada scientists’ concerns. About 40 individuals and groups submitted closing remarks but missing were those from federal agencies — in particular, Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Our avocation as naturalists must include actions to conserve what we love. See Combating Climate Change through Conservation about our impact on addressing the climate crisis. In 2021, a BC Nature Representative attended a Nature Canada meeting in Ottawa where naturalists spent a day presenting their climate views to federal politicians.
Biodiversity and Species at Risk
In pursuit of a way for BC Nature to get actively involved in advocating for a Biodiversity Conservation Act or a Species at Risk Act, BC Nature sent an inquiry to some 45 organizations that had made representations to government for species at risk legislation several years ago. The response was very tepid. Many organizations did not respond at all and, of those that did, there was a lack of enthusiasm to go through that process again.
BC Nature then contacted four larger organizations that already had initiatives under way related to such legislation, asking how BC Nature could actively support those efforts:
- The Wilderness Committee has several campaigns under way – for a BC species at risk law : for conservation of biodiversity and protected areas and for conserving old growth
- Ecojustice is calling for a law to protect biodiversity
- Echo Conservation has an endangered species initiative for an endangered species law, with special focus on fisher and mountain caribou.
- The BC Wildlife Federation’s 24-member Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Coalition advocates for biodiversity and ecosystem health – Link.
The Wilderness Committee asks BC Nature members to engage in an electronic letter-writing campaign. Their “escalator” is a tool that “level’s up” actions that a person takes. The first step is to sign on to send a pre-written letter, once they do this they advised to take the second action which is to write to the environmental land use committee. Thereafter, they are encouraged to take actions escalate all the way up to meet with one’s MLA and plan an event.
Ecojustice is still developing a broader advocacy strategy for a biodiversity law – (planning, research, etc.). It is also waiting to see how the new Land, Water and Resource Stewardship ministry plans to deal with biodiversity and the second recommendation of the Old Growth Strategic Review.
The BC Wildlife Federation has invited BC Nature to attend bimonthly meetings of their24-member Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Coalition. BC Nature has sent a representative.
In the next year, BC Nature will endeavour to get all of the BC Nature member clubs to develop a relationship with their respective MLAs. BC Nature plans to provide a “how-to” information package for those clubs to get them started. Then, the various member clubs around the province will be able to meet regularly with their MLAs to explain the need, and desire, for legislation on matters important to BC Nature, potentially including:
- Protection of species at risk and their habitats,
- Protection and conservation of biological diversity,
- Expansion of the Gulf Island’s Conservation Tax Incentive Program provincially.
Wildlife & Habitat
BC Nature gave input to a draft report: Together for Wildlife, a Pathway Forward for Wildlife and Habitat in British Columbia. In our detailed response, we requested a clear political commitment to urgent and meaningful action to ensure that the proposed “Pathway” is effective in maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. The government needs to commit to actions that address the deep and profound impacts that our past and current economic practices and systems are having on wildlife and their habitats and local communities.