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Legislation for biological diversity: directions for British Columbia
Rankin, C. (1993). Legislation for biological diversity: directions for British Columbia, in: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. pp. 295-310
In: Fenger, M.A. et al. (Ed.) (1993). Our living legacy: Proceedings of a Symposium on Biological Diversity. The Royal British Columbia Museum: Victoria. ISBN 0-7718-9355-8. XIII, 392 pp., more

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  • Rankin, C.

    Legal efforts to maintain biodiversity in four areas are briefly reviewed: general principles, conservation planning, protected areas and species protection. An effective strategy to maintain biodiversity will involve incentives and informal approaches as well as legislation and regulations. Examples are used to illustrate the possibilities for legislative reform. Protected area legislation should include system planning and implementation provisions. Species protection measures include endangered species legislation and the legislated use of management indicator species. Land-use planning legislation should require clear conservation objectives in plans, an environmental assessment that addresses the impacts on biodiversity and independent review bodies such as an appeal board and a legislative commissioner . In British Columbia, legislation is lacking in clear guiding principles for maintaining biodiversity. Criteria for weighing decisions between environmental integrity and economic development are absent from legislation, the public trust responsibilities of the government are not explicit and citizen standing is limited. While the province has a wide variety of protective designations, no formal mechanisms co-ordinate their application. Species protection measures are not explicit and protection of endangered species is left to ministerial discretion. Conservation planning takes place subsequent to development planning with little opportunity y for public review or appeal. Recommendations to address these issues include the creation of a natural areas advisory council, appointing a legislative commissioner for the environment and legislation on endangered species, forest practice and land-use planning.

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