B.C. Conservation Framework: a promising action plan or “another Kyoto”?
B.C. government is shelling out $1.2 million for a new conservation project aimed at stopping the extinction of plant and animal species, which are unique to British Columbia. A recent report has found that 43% of species in B.C. are “threatened enough to be of concern.”
The Conservation Framework proposes to use a complex formula to prioritize or rank each species. Those species will then be sorted into "action bins" that determine what strategies will be used to protect them. Actions including everything from moving to a captive breeding program, setting aside habitat, controlling predators, and simply reducing the harvest levels.
The biodiversity experts claim that although the plan is based on good science and worthy ideas, the $1.2 million funding is far from sufficient to implement the plan.
"When you think of the billions of dollars going into the Olympics and the hundreds of millions going into Gateway [highway and port expansion], this is just a ridiculously small amount of money."
Furthermore, they fear that if the BC government does not toughen the legislation concerning endangered species, the Conservation Framework plan will turn into just “another Kyoto.”
Dr. Faisal Moola, director of science at the David Suzuki Foundation, said he's concerned the Conservation Framework will fail because the government will rely on existing regulations.
They haven't succeeded in protecting species in the past, he said.
He said without endangered-species legislation, which would require the government to protect habitat where needed, the Conservation Framework won't work.
"With the fate of thousands of species hanging in the balance and global warming threatening to tip the scales, we were really hoping for [an endangered species] law," Dr. Moola said.