Government Biodiversity Conservation Measures
BC governments have been developing measures to conserve our natural wealth since the early 1990s. These measures include establishing new provincial parks and protected areas, new provisions under the Wildlife Act, biodiversity provisions under the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Fish Protection Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory Project, the BC Conservation Data Centre, and initiatives to restore damaged ecosystems, the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, public education programs, and decades of supporting scientific research. Participation by stakeholders and by the public in British Columbia's strategic Land and Resource Management Planning process has been important in identifying sensitive and important areas for protection and for integrated resource management in over 85 percent of the province. These strategic plans provide a broad framework for protecting and managing important ecosystems and habitats whereby the needs of plants and animals can be addressed in part by establishing protected areas and in part by carefully managing lands available for resource development.
The aim is not to protect everything everywhere but to try to understand and manage ecosystems well so as to maintain their functional integrity. In this way we can both protect our most important places and manage biodiversity carefully where we engage in forestry, agriculture, transportation, and urban and energy development, to ensure responsible, sustainable returns from those activities on public and private lands.
Many local and regional governments across the province have been taking steps to take biodiversity conservation into account in their local planning processes and zoning decisions. Information on conservation initiatives by local government will be gathered and added to the site during the stakeholder consultation process in 2008.