Between floods, wildfires and growing concern for salmon in decline, it’s been a tough year here in BC. We’ve all seen how climate change and accelerating species extinction threatens both ourselves and the nature around us.
It’s high time to implement solutions to these crises.
One of these solutions lies right under our nose: protecting BC’s world-renowned forests, grasslands, mountains, and rivers in Indigenous-led protected areas and provincial parks.
There is ample scientific evidence that protecting more land—particularly, 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030—is a key way we can address negative environmental impacts that British Columbians face today. Indigenous Peoples have been caring for their lands and waters since time immemorial, ensuring that high biological diversity persists in their territories for generations to come.
A number of Indigenous-led conservation projects are already underway that—with support from the BC government—could support nature, the economy, and our health while upholding cultural and spiritual values.
The long-standing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) proposal from the Kaska Dena, for example, would add four per cent to BC’s current protected area land base of 15.5%—bridging nearly half the gap between what is protected, and what should be protected.
This is why I urge the BC government to take climate change and species extinction seriously by promising to protect 25% of its land base by 2025. The time to take action is now.