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The SCCA has submitted comments on the Province's recently released draft plan “Protecting Vulnerable Species: A Draft Five Year Plan for Species at Risk in British Columbia”.

British Columbia has the highest national species diversity, and an increasing amount of species and ecosystems at risk.

Relying on voluntary stewardship efforts by the community and non-governmental organizations in the protection and recovery of species and ecosystems at risk is not a substitute for strong, clear legislation. Without laws that protect critical habitat, there is no foundation upon which to build and no commonly accepted rules when a given area is proposed to be altered.

The SCCA recommends that BC adopt the recommendations of “The Last Place on Earth” authored by Ecojustice Canada. A strong piece of legislation must include specific strategies to protect and to recover species and ecosystems at risk; identified mechanisms for enforcement and identified sources of funding. As the above report explains, the legislation must be underpinned with the internationally recognized precautionary principle, the principle of inter-generational equity, and the polluter-pays principle.