Every fall, the BC government asks British Columbians like you about what they want to see funded in next year’s budget. This budget consultation—which happens every year—is a big opportunity for British Columbians to have their say and tell the BC government that investing in nature should be a top priority!
BC’s parks and protected areas are home to culturally important places for First Nations, thrilling sites for outdoor adventures, and protect precious habitat for animal and plant species. As we enter the last days of the budget consultation—which closes on September 30, 2021 at 5pm PST—it’s key that we take action to speak up for BC’s wild places and spaces that don’t have a voice.
Will you join us in standing up for nature? Here are three more reasons why you should.
1. Investing in nature conservation will help BC meet international biodiversity targets
Time is ticking closer to the 2025 international biodiversity targets, in which Canada has committed to protecting 25% of its land and inland waters by 2025, and 30% by 2030. To slow the rapid loss of biodiversity in BC, we need to make sure that more land is protected to shelter at-risk species and preserve our forests, rivers, lakes, grasslands, and more through a changing climate.
2. Protected areas return on their investment through opportunities for tourism, job creation, and increased GDP
From Hope to Revelstoke, we don’t need to look far to see the economic benefit that visitors bring to a community. When visitors spend time and money in parks, they bring in a 44% return in government investment through taxes. Tourism—which heavily relies on BC’s wildlife and wild places—can also increase our GDP, or the value of our economy. In 2016, tourism contributed $7.9 billion to BC’s GDP—a bigger contribution than the mining, forestry, and agriculture/fishing industries.
3. Protected, safe, and accessible provincial parks will result in happier and healthier British Columbians.
In a CPAWS-BC survey last year, 94% of British Columbians said that access to nature was somewhat or very important to their mental health. Parks double as places for people to connect with nature, and with each other in our urban and screen-based lives. Accessible nature with safe infrastructure means that more people can get outside. It’s a big bonus of increased investment in parks and protected areas.
Ready to stand up for nature in BC? Take action and tell the BC government that they need to invest in nature.