The Province has announced a plan for the conservation and stewardship of B.C.’s wildlife, with a governing council to oversee the strategy.
The Together for Wildlife strategy will bring diverse perspectives together to lead the Province in making sound decisions for wildlife stewardship. The strategy comes as climate change and cumulative effects are increasingly putting pressure on wildlife populations and their habitats. It will link wildlife and habitat values to other stewardship initiatives and programs across government. This collaboration will prioritize wildlife conservation and help ensure shared objectives are achieved for wildlife and habitat.
“For many of us, the simple existence of wildlife is important, a fundamental value,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our rich natural diversity is inextricably linked to our way of life. We need to ensure that wildlife and their habitats are resilient as we face challenges like climate change.”
In 2018, government provided $1 million to support engagement to develop the strategy and $3 million in 2019 for continued engagement and early implementation of actions. In 2020, $10 million is provided to support the strategy’s ongoing implementation.
Moving forward, the strategy will be the basis of government’s actions toward wildlife. It outlines a vision and principles that government will take, including 24 actions and five goals:
- All British Columbians have a voice in wildlife stewardship.
- Data, information and knowledge drive better decisions.
- Stewardship actions achieve tangible benefits for wildlife and their habitats.
- Accountability and transparency build trust and confidence.
- Collaborative wildlife stewardship advances reconciliation with Indigenous governments.
The strategy was developed with collaboration and input from Indigenous peoples, rural communities, academic institutions and a wide range of resource industry, conservation, hunter, trapper, guide, recreation and tourism stakeholder organizations, and more than 1,400 members of the public.
- establishes structures to bring diverse perspectives together;
- harnesses collective knowledge and gathers new information to prioritize work and make wise decisions;
- commits resources to invest into on-the-ground projects; and
- increases transparency and accountability to ensure the right decisions are making a difference for wildlife and the habitat they need.
A Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council has been formed to oversee implementation of the strategy. The council will advise the minister on provincewide wildlife and habitat issues. It consists of people with demonstrated expertise on wildlife and habitat stewardship with a diversity of perspectives, such as First Nations, the public, local government, academia, natural resources and other industrial sectors, and conservation organizations.
For more information on the Together for Wildlife strategy, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/wildlifeandhabitat/
A backgrounder follows.