This fall, four leading environmental groups launched a campaign to change one of BC’s most unfortunate distinctions: it is one of only two provinces in Canada without a standalone endangered species law.
To help make the case for improved protection, Ecojustice lawyer Sean Nixon released a report titled, “The Last Place on Earth” detailing BC’s loss of biodiversity and making concrete recommendations for the development of endangered species legislation. The unveiling of the report was timed with a website on the campaign.
British Columbia has the richest biodiversity of any Canadian province. It is home to 76 percent of Canada’s bird species, 70 percent of its freshwater species and thousands of other animals and plants. Unfortunately, BC’s biological wealth is under severe stress. A recent analysis found that 1,640 species, ranging from phantom orchids to Vancouver Island marmots – 43 percent – are currently at risk.
To date, the campaign has been endorsed by a growing list of prominent Canadians including rocker Sam Roberts, Whistler Mayor, Ken Melamed and Kai Chan, Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at UBC.