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Canada-British Columbia Agreement On Species At Risk

The Parties Agree As Follows:

1.0 Definitions

    “Forest and Range Practices Act” means the Forest and Range Practices Act (S.B.C. 2002, c .69).

    “Ministry of Environment Act” means the Ministry of Environment Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 299).

    “Species at Risk Act”means the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c. 29).

    “Wildlife Act”means the Wildlife Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 488).


2.0 Principles

  1. The Parties agree that the following principles will guide the interpretation and implementation of this Agreement, while remaining consistent with federal and provincial legal requirements:
  2. Inter-jurisdictional collaboration characterized by respect for the roles and responsibilities of each of the Parties will feature in all elements of species at risk protection and recovery.
  3. Species at risk protection and recovery in British Columbia will be designed and delivered in a manner tailored to address the ecological, social and economic circumstances of the province.
  4. Planning and actions to prevent species from becoming at risk and to protect and recover species that have been identified as being at risk will be informed by the best available science.
  5. Decisions regarding the listing and recovery of species at risk will be informed by the principles of sustainable development. 
  6. The development and implementation of recovery measures will take into account the socio-economic interests of communities and the traditional knowledge of aboriginal people.
  7. If there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to a species at risk, cost-effective early actions will be taken to prevent the further reduction or loss of the species and to facilitate the protection and recovery efforts.
  8. Ecosystem, landscape and multi-species approaches will be used when appropriate for the protection and recovery of species at risk.
  9. Stewardship by land and water owners and users is fundamental to preventing species from becoming at risk and in protecting and recovering species that are at risk.
  10. Cooperative, voluntary measures are the first approach to securing the protection and recovery of species at risk.
  11. Canada and British Columbia are committed to carrying out consultations with those who may be directly affected by protection and recovery of species at risk.


3.0 Interpretation

  1. The Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection, enters into this Agreement with Canada under the authority of section 6 of the Ministry of Environment Act.
  2. The Minister of the Environment, responsible for the Department of the Environment and for the Parks Canada Agency, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, being competent ministers under the Species at Risk Act (“SARA”), enter into this Agreement with the Province of British Columbia under section 10 of that Act.
  3. Neither Canada nor British Columbia relinquish any jurisdiction, right, power, privilege, prerogative or immunity by virtue of this Agreement.
  4. This Agreement does not create any new legal powers or duties nor does it alter the powers and duties established by SARA, the Wildlife Act, and the Forest and Range Practices Act or any other federal or provincial legislation.


4.0 Purpose

  1. The purpose of this Agreement is to create an administrative framework, within which the Parties can cooperatively exercise their respective powers and duties to ensure a coordinated and focused approach to the delivery of species at risk protection and recovery through legislation, policies, and operational procedures in British Columbia.  It does so by:
    • setting out the respective roles and responsibilities of the Parties with respect to species at risk protection and recovery in British Columbia.
    • establishing the coordinating mechanisms needed to consult on key decisions, establish joint priorities, share information and design coordinated programs of work.
    • providing opportunities to jointly develop species at risk policies where appropriate.