Wildsight supports new framework for biodiversity and ecosystem health

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Wildsight welcomes the BC government’s commitment to protecting biodiversity and ecosystem health and the creation of a law that would give overarching priority to biodiversity protection. The draft Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Framework was released today.

“If implemented, this will be a paradigm shift in how we value and manage our natural resources in BC. We have long advocated for a biodiversity law to protect the lands and waters that sustain all living things,” states Robyn Duncan, Wildsight Executive Director. “In the meantime, we need immediate interim measures to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. With each day that passes, we are losing old growth forests, habitat for species at risk and intact watersheds.”

The draft framework is part of BC’s commitment to implementation of the Old Growth Strategic Review. It would mark a drastic shift from current government policy which prioritizes economic interests over biodiversity and would establish an Office of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health.

BC is Canada’s most biodiverse province, yet with more than 1,950 species at risk, we have no provincial law to protect them. Since 2004, we have lost six herds of southern mountain caribou in the Kootenay Columbia region alone.

If implemented, the draft framework would overturn the current paradigm that prioritizes forests for timber instead of habitat for species, carbon sequestration or flood mitigation, establishing legal objectives for biodiversity and healthy ecosystems across the province.

“This is the type of government leadership that we need to combat the climate and biodiversity crises and put us on a path to recovery,” says Duncan.”We applaud the draft biodiversity framework, but we call on the BC government to give immediate direction to statutory decision-makers to prioritize ecosystem integrity and biodiversity in all their decision making in line with today’s commitments.”

The Province is seeking public feedback on this new framework until January 15, 2024. Comments can be sent to biodiversity.ecosystemhealth@gov.bc.ca


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