More land in British Columbia needs to be protected – Summerland Review

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Mr. Editor:

Between floods, wildfires and growing concern about declining salmon, it’s been a tough year here in British Columbia.

It is high time to implement solutions to these crises.

One of those solutions is right under our noses: protecting British Columbia’s world-famous forests, prairies, mountains and rivers in protected areas and provincial parks run by Indigenous people.

There is ample scientific evidence that protecting more land, particularly 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, is a critical way to tackle the negative environmental impacts that British Columbians are facing. are facing today.

Indigenous peoples have cared for their lands and waters since time immemorial, ensuring that great biological diversity persists in their lands for generations to come.

A number of Indigenous-led conservation projects are already underway and, with support from the Government of British Columbia, could support nature, the economy and our health while respecting cultural and spiritual values.

The Kaska Dena’s long-standing Indigenous Protected and Conservation Area proposal, for example, would add 4% to B.C.’s current protected areas land base of 15.5%, thus filling nearly half of the gap between what is protected and what should be. .

That is why I urge the government of British Columbia to take climate change and species extinction seriously by pledging to protect 25% of its land by 2025. It is time to act now.

Stephanie Forsyth

Naramata

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