Why Doesn't British Columbia Protect Endangered Species?
In my recent post about green issue in British Columbia I briefly mentioned the campaign organized by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) to push the provincial government to develop endangered species legislation. Read on to find out more about WCWC's campaign for BC's endangered species. What species need protection?
British Columbia’s lack of endangered species legislation is particularly surprising given the province’s tremendous environmental wealth. BC is Canada’s most biologically rich province containing 66% of Canada’s butterfly species, 70% of its freshwater fish species, 76% of its bird species, 60% of its conifer species, 56% of its fern species, and 41% of it s orchids. BC is also home to almost half of Canada’s grizzly bear population, and 250 species of birds - half of which breed nowhere else in Canada.
...experts tell us that more than 1, 600 species are currently threatened or endangered in B.C. and levels of endangerment are especially high within specific wildlife groups. Among the major wildlife groups in the province, reptiles and turtles (67 per cent), amphibians (47 per cent) and freshwater fish (47 per cent) are the most at risk of local extinction in B.C.
What would effective endangered species legislation look like?
1.Enshrine the principle that healthy ecosystems are essential to healthy human societies and economies,
2. Recognize that biological diversity is essential to healthy ecosystems,
3. Identify, protect and recover at-risk biodiversity across BC,
4. Protect and recover biodiversity by protecting habitat,
5. Identify, assess and develop recovery strategies for at-risk biodiversity on the basis of sound science,
6. Enshrine the precautionary principle; the principle of inter-generational equity; and the polluter-pays principle,
7. Require citizen, community and First Nations participation,
8. Require accountability and transparency,
9. Be enforced
How can you help create endangered species legislation for BC?
WCWC is running a campaign to get 10,000 signatures on an endangered species sign-on letter by May 31 that they can then present to provincial politicians. Other organizations that support the campaign include David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics, Ecojustice and the Sierra Club of BC.