British Columbians want more parks, even if it means less mining and logging: survey

Scientists say 30 per cent of land and water in Canada should be protected

Four out of five British Columbians would support the B.C. government creating more protected areas with Indigenous peoples, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by Insights West, found 80 per cent of people in B.C. support increasing environmental protection, even if it meant reducing areas available for mining and forestry.

“British Columbians overwhelmingly support increasing protected areas even if that means new no-go zones for mining and forestry,” said Nikki Skuce in a news release, director of Northern Confluence and co-founder of BC Mining Law Reform.

Canada joined the European Union last month in pledging to protect both 30 per cent of it’s land and seas by 2030. Scientists have said a minimum of 30 per cent of the planet must be safeguarded to stem catastrophic biodiversity loss.

At the end of 2019, just over 12 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial area and 13 per cent of it’s marine territory was conserved.

For comparison, Brazil is 29 per cent protected and Australia 19 per cent.

“It’s time for B.C. to support the international biodiversity goal of protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030,” said Skuce.

B.C. is Canada’s largest producer of copper and largest exporter of steel making coal.

The survey also found the majority of Vancouver and Vancouver Island residents want stronger environmental protection laws when it comes to mining.

Results from the survey were conducted from Oct. 13 to 15 and sampled 1,385 British Columbians. It was funded by BC Mining Law Reform as well as Northern Confluence.

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