The Government of British Columbia is starting a discussion on improving wildlife management and habitat conservation, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.
“The diversity of wildlife in British Columbia is one of our province’s greatest treasures,” said Donaldson. “Working with Indigenous peoples, wildlife stakeholders and the public, we want to build a strategy that more effectively manages our wildlife for future generations. We’ve dedicated $14 million over three years to do so.”
The province's unique landscapes and climate is home to one of the richest wildlife resources in North America. Three-quarters of Canada's mammal species are found in B.C., with 24 of those species exclusive to B.C. In recent decades, alteration of habitat due to expanded human populations, expanded natural resource development and impacts from climate change have placed increasing pressure on certain wildlife populations, some of which are now in decline.
As part of the government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, collaboration with Indigenous peoples is an integral part of developing a new provincial wildlife strategy.
The discussion paper, Improving Wildlife Management and Habitat Conservation in British Columbia, poses eight questions for discussion. Engagement is the first step in a four-step process to develop the strategy:
- Hold online engagement and face-to-face sessions with Indigenous communities and key stakeholders.
- Develop policy options to address priority concerns emerging from the engagement.
- Release a policy intentions paper for public engagement.
- Implement a new wildlife management and conservation strategy in 2020.