Budget 2019 highlights climate change, but falls short on conservation
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Victoria, BC – While the 2019 provincial budget does appear to deliver on funding promises to implement the government’s climate plan (CleanBC), the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is disappointed that there was no significant increase in funding allocated to expand BC’s protected areas and safeguard biodiversity.
“This budget is missing a golden opportunity by not allocating funding to conservation at a time when there is unprecedented federal funding available to match the province’s investment in protected area expansion,” said Bruce Passmore, CPAWS-BC Executive Director. “Protected areas not only safeguard biodiversity from the effects of climate change, but they can also be a significant job creator in rural communities.”
In the throne speech last week, the BC government pledged to continue investing in BC’s parks and protected areas, while moving forward under a framework of reconciliation and upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
“The BC government made a commitment to expand protected areas and safeguard our natural ecosystems,” said Tori Ball, Terrestrial Campaigner for CPAWS-BC. “We’re disappointed that today’s budget announcement does little to reflect that.”
British Columbia has a key role to play to help Canada meet its international biodiversity targets, which include protecting 17 percent of land and inland water by next year. With wide ranging species like caribou facing severe decline, the province has significant work to do in partnership with First Nations and the federal government to expand and connect protected areas and critical habitat.
“If the BC government is serious about combating climate change and safeguarding a future for our children, then they need to legislate bold action for conservation.” continued Ball. “Establishing large, well-connected parks and protected areas is critical to combating the global extinction crisis and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”
For interview, contact:
Executive Director, CPAWS-BC