By BC Auditor General (2013) John Doyle
Biodiversity if the variety of life on the planet. It includes species, their genetic diversity and ecosystems.The health of biodiversity is often compared to the health of the environment, and ultimately affects human well- being by supplying us with food, water, air, soil and medicines.
British Columbia is Canada’s most biologically diverse province; however, recent assessments have shown that many of its species and ecosystems are declining.The two ministries primarily responsible for conserving biodiversity in the province are the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
The Ministry of Environment has had a long-term goal of conserving, maintaining and enhancing native species and ecosystems, while the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations undertakes many of the activities aimed at realizing this goal. This audit looked at the conservation of biodiversity on Crown land, and focused on the habitat protection actions of these two ministries.
We conducted this audit to determine whether the B.C. government is effectively conserving biodiversity in the province.We asked three questions:
Does government have a clear understanding of biodiversity in B.C.?
Are government actions resulting in the conservation of biodiversity?
Is government measuring and reporting publicly on its progress towards conserving biodiversity?
We concluded that:
♦ Significant gaps exist in government’s understanding of biodiversity in B.C.
♦ Government does not know whether its actions are resulting in the
conservation of biodiversity.
♦ Government is not adequately measuring and reporting on its progress in the conservation of biodiversity.