B.C. Chapter supports endangered species legislation

By Emily Ronis

The sea otter is currently considered a species at risk by Canada and has some provincial protections in British Columbia. ©Robert Levy

The British Columbia Chapter of The Wildlife Society (BCTWS) has expressed support for the development of endangered species legislation in the province.

The proposed new provincial legislation is intended to establish a clear process to protect species at risk to meet obligations set out by the Canada-British Columbia Agreement on Species at Risk. Canada’s Species at Risk Act provides protection for at-risk species at the federal level. The proposed legislation would facilitate protection at the provincial level. Last month, the government of British Columbia announced that it would hold public consultations on the development process.

In a letter, BCTWS expressed support for the move and offered four elements to be considered for incorporation into the new legislation. The first, science-based decision making should be used during each step of the listing, recovery and delisting processes. Second was the facilitation of partnerships and cooperation between governmental agencies, First Nations, private landowners and other stakeholders in recovering species. Third, BCTWS requested adequate funding to support species recovery and, finally, the use of market-based strategies to encourage endangered species conservation.

“Our hope for this legislation is that it will provide a simplified, unified and effective framework for the protection of species-at-risk in British Columbia and allow British Columbians to thrive economically and socially,” BCTWS said in the letter.

An intentions paper detailing the specifics of the proposed legislation is expected to be made available for public comment in fall 2018.

Emily Ronis is a Policy Communication Intern at The Wildlife Society. Read more of Emily's articles.

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