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Federal $500 million for protection & conservation of BC biodiversity, habitats & species at risk

$500 million over eight years

steven guilbeault, jonathan wilkinson, david eby
Announcing federal funding for biodiversity & habitat protection in Vancouver on Nov 3, 2023 (from left): Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault; and BC Premier David Eby. [Composite - Island Social Trends]
 GROWING NATURAL FOOD IN URBAN SPACES

Friday November 3, 2023 | VANCOUVER, BC [Updated 12:41 pm]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


Today BC Premier David Eby was joined by federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and First Nations Leadership Council representatives in Vancouver for a major announcement about protecting and conserving biodiversity, habitats and species at risk in British Columbia.

federal, environment, forests, guilbeault, eby, cullen, osborne
Federal-provincial announcement in Vancouver on Nov 3, 2023. [Govt]

Also there for the federal government was Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Patrick Weiler, member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country.

Backing up the BC flank was Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen.

premier, david eby
BC Premier David Eby in Vancouver for announcementof Nature Conservation Agreement announcement, Nov 3, 2023. [livestream]

The First Nations leadership was there in Regional Chief Terry Teegee, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations; Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit; Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs; and Chief Jennifer Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

This comes on the heels of a similar BC announcement last week at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, where Eby, Cullen, together with Forestry Minister Bruce Ralston and Environment and Climate Change Minister George Heyman announced biodiversity protections for the province’s natural spaces.

alistair macgregor, constituency

Ralston and Heyman were also in Vancouver today as well as Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Obsorne whose work with Heyman laid the BC groundwork for today’s announcement.

Guilbeault called the support of $500 million over eight years — together with the $300 million from BC & the BC Parks Foundation (announced October 27, 2023 in Victoria) is an important agreement toward reaching protection of 30% of the natural environment by 2030.

This announcement comes on the heels of the October 27 announcement of the $300 million in provincial funding, by Premier Eby and several ministers in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park.

steven guilbeault, jonathan wilkinson, david eby
Announcing federal funding for biodiversity & habitat protection in Vancouver on Nov 3, 2023 (from left): Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault; and BC Premier David Eby. [Composite – Island Social Trends]

New directions:

“When climate change puts nature under threat, this challenges people too,” said Guilbeault. “In the climate fight, our greatest protector is nature,” the federal environment and climate change minister said.

nathan cullen
Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen, at federal biodiversity and conservation funding announcement in Vancouver, Nov 3, 2023. [livestream]

Premier Eby called it “a paradigm shift about protecting ecosystems”. He reiterated his stance that protecting the environment and growing the economy are “not separate, they are linked… we need both things”.

Lasting and durable:

Conservation efforts need to be thought of in a new way, said Minister Cullen, to make it “lasting and durable” for future generations. He said that the work is “Indigenous led”.

Later in social media Cullen said: “It’s a good day in B.C.!! We joined with the First Nation Leadership Council and Canada to announce the signing of the biggest conservation agreement in Canada’s (and BC’s) history. With this new federal money we are putting over $1 billion in for indigenous-led conservation.” He added: “Much work ahead – desperately needed – to fight biodiversity loss & climate change.”

steven guilbeault, josie osborne
Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbealt and Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Obsorne at forest protection announcement in Vancouver, Nov 3, 2023. [BC Govt]

“The Nature Agreement marks a historic moment of First Nations, the province and federal government coming together to achieve the collective goal of biodiversity protection, restoration and stewardship,” said Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Minister Josie Obsorne. She is pleased that the agreement commits to protecting 30% of BC’s water & land by 2030.

Federal news release:

The federal government posted their own news release about today’s announcement, saying that the agreement acknowledges, affirms, and enables the expression of the unique rights and interests of First Nations in the province.

“Canada, British Columbia (B.C.), and the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) have signed a Tripartite Framework Agreement on Nature Conservation to strengthen conservation efforts provincewide. This is the first of its kind agreement involving federal and provincial governments and First Nations.”

protect nature in bc

Financial contributions by Canada and B.C. under this Agreement are strategically coordinated and could be directed to leverage additional provincial and third-party investments into conservation financing.

Part of today’s news release included: “Ensure our cities and towns help nature, through pilot projects in support of the National Program for Ecological Corridors.”

nature, beacon hill park
Natural spaces are under protection in BC [Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, Oct 27/23 / Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends}

BC Greens comment:

“We applaud First Nations leadership on this historic agreement, on further protection for old-growth forests, and support for Indigenous-led conservation initiatives,” said BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau today.

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===== RELATED:

New conservation financing mechanism: protect ecosystems & strengthen the economy (October 27, 2023)