Parks expansion a promising start, but more protection needed for nature in BC

25 March, 2019

Vancouver, BC — The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is applauding a move by the provincial government to add land to British Columbia’s parks and protected areas.

Amendments expanding several parks will also include restoring Indigenous names to First Nations’ ancestral homelands, in-line with commitments to reconciliation.

“Expanding BC’s parks and protected areas throughout the province is essential for a sustainable future,” says Bruce Passmore, CPAWS-BC Executive Director. “While the amount of land being added to the parks system is less than what’s needed to adequately protect nature, we’re encouraged by today’s announcement from the province.”

The announcement comes just one year before the deadline for meeting international biodiversity targets, in which Canada and other countries agreed to protect 17 percent of land and 10 percent of ocean by 2020.

“BC is still short on meeting the international target of 17 percent, but we can get there,” continued Passmore. “We need to go beyond the targets, however. BC needs to ensure that nature can withstand human development and climate change. Our province has the most biodiversity in Canada, but also the highest number of species at risk. We need to do better to protect habitat and fight the extinction crisis.”