The Government of British Columbia and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. have renewed their commitment to effectively manage invasive species in the province, with an updated five-year strategic plan and the proclamation of May 2018 as Invasive Species Action Month.
Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to this province, or are outside of their natural distribution areas. They can disrupt habitat, displace native species and negatively impact British Columbia’s environment, people or economy.
“Once invasive species become established, they can spread rapidly, and seriously disrupt B.C.’s ecosystems if left unchecked,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The close partnerships that our government has developed with the Invasive Species Council of B.C., regional invasive species organizations and several local governments have gone a long way toward managing these harmful species.”
Invasive plants, for example, can reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops. Some may pose a health risk to animals and people.
“The updated Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia demonstrates our ongoing commitment to contain the spread of invasive species in this province,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Proclaiming May 2018 as Invasive Species Action Month will help raise awareness of how these species can affect both urban and rural environments.”
Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia 2018-2022:
The development of the Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia 2018-2022 was a collaborative effort, facilitated by the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia. It incorporates contributions and feedback from over 100 organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals from throughout British Columbia.
Staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and members of the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group were also involved in its preparation.
The updated 2018-2022 version builds on the original strategy released in 2012, and focuses on seven key priorities, or “pillars”:
- establish and enforce effective regulatory tools
- strengthen collaboration
- prevent introduction and spread
- implement effective control, restoration and monitoring programs
- support and extend relevant and applicable research
- provide stable, long-term funding
- promote action through communication and education
The Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia 2018-2022 includes recommendations for the management of problem species, habitat restoration, monitoring programs, regulation and policy, funding and research.
By working together, British Columbians can help stop the spread of invasive species that can damage the province’s environment, infrastructure and economy.
“We thank the Province for working with the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to kick off Invasive Species Action Month, and for supporting the updated Invasive Species Strategy for B.C.,” said Brian Heise, Invasive Species Council of B.C. chair. “All of our partners throughout the province have contributed to this important collaborative effort and are participating in Invasive Species Action Month. Together, we can help protect B.C.’s landscapes from new invasive species.”
- Since 2004, the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group has provided policy direction, co-ordination and collaborative delivery of provincial invasive species programs for British Columbia.
- The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where new invasive plant species have been found and responds quickly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.
- Members of the public can report sightings of invasive plant species anywhere in B.C. by using the Report-A-Weed or Report Invasives BC smartphone apps, by calling 1 888-WEEDSBC (1 888 933-3722), or by using the online reporting tool available at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species
May 2018 has been proclaimed as Invasive Species Action Month. Read the proclamation here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/InvasSpecActnMnth2018
The Invasive Species Council of B.C. has planned weekly activities to mark Invasive Species Action Month 2018. More information is available on the council’s website at: www.bcinvasivesmonth.com
Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: http://www.bcinvasives.ca
Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia 2018-2022 is available on the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia website at: https://bcinvasives.ca/documents/Invasive_Species_Strategy_for_BC-2018-180117-WEB.pdf
B.C. Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/invasive-species/index.htm