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A dimly lit peek into the dense green undergrowth of an old growth forest

press release

B.C. government releases report on action toward resilient ecosystems, communities and economies, Ecojustice reacts

May 22, 2024

VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES — Yesterday the B.C. government released, From Review to Action, a report that outlines B.C.’s progress toward implementing all 14 recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR).   

Sarah Korpan, government relations and campaign specialist, responded to the release of the report saying: 

“The report highlights some of the key commitments B.C. has made toward better stewardship of ecosystems, such as the Tripartite Nature Agreement and release of the draft Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Framework. But many of these commitments have only set the stage for the bigger, on-the-ground action required to meaningfully protect remaining at-risk ecosystems and address systemic barriers that have allowed for the exploitation of old growth forests. 

“Rather than prioritizing immediate implementation of those necessary actions, this report outlines even longer-term timelines for implementation of key commitments that should have been completed or farther along within the original three-year implementation timeline of the Old Growth Strategic Review.  

“We acknowledge that the intentions of this government have led to unprecedented and necessary commitments to addressing the biodiversity crisis, but good intentions only get us so far. Irreplaceable old growth continues to be logged. There is one remaining spotted owl left in the wild, yet much of their habitat remains unprotected. These issues are allowed to persist because B.C. is delaying addressing the systemic issues within the province’s laws that offer no protection for at-risk species and ecosystems. 

“B.C. has committed to addressing this flawed system by enacting a new law that prioritizes biodiversity and ecosystem health in all government decision-making across all sectors. This commitment now sits under the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Framework, a draft of which was released earlier this year. The newly released “action plan” references the Framework as an integral piece of fulfilling all OGSR recommendations, yet it highlights that the final Framework won’t be released until 2025. This delayed timeline puts species, like spotted owl, at risk of further decline or extinction.  

“We need B.C. to remain steadfast on their commitment to co-developing with First Nations a law that prioritizes biodiversity and ecosystem health before they run out of time this mandate. While we wait for the province to step up and develop this law, we need them to protect what’s left of old growth forests immediately. Anything less than that, isn’t enough.”