BC Parks actively manages protected areas to conserve natural and cultural values found within our diverse system.
The objectives of our conservation program are to:
- Mitigate and adapt to climate change
Actions that support natural resilience, biological diversity, landscape-level management and adaptation to climate change create the best outcomes for ecosystems to continue into the future.
- Maintain and restore ecosystems
Where possible in BC Parks, we allow natural processes to proceed unimpeded. However, ecosystems within protected areas sometimes need help to get to a more resilient state.
- Protect and recover biodiversity
Protected areas provide an important tool for protecting biodiversity. BC Parks has a mandate to work with others to protect the biodiversity within our protected areas system, helping to protect species at risk and also maintain overall diversity of species and ecosystems, and the genetic diversity to maintain resilience in the face of future threats or climate change.
- Know what we are protecting
Before we can take conservation action, we must know what BC’s protected areas system is protecting and understand the threats it is facing. The information we need comes from traditional knowledge, ecological and social science research, citizen science, and other inventory and monitoring.
- Create connections
BC Parks is committed to working with First Nations, and other government and community partners to achieve shared goals, leverage each others’ resources to deliver conservation projects, and create community connections through education, experiences, and outreach.
Want to know more about conservation at BC Parks? Contact us at BCParksConservation@gov.bc.ca.
Conservation assessments and protected area management effectiveness
Growing global concern about the effectiveness of protected areas in meeting objectives such as biodiversity conservation has led to initiatives to examine how well protected areas are working. The framework, Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME), is an assessment of how well protected areas are being managed [PDF], primarily the extent to which management is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives.
PAME evaluations are endorsed by the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and the National Advisory Panel tasked to achieve Canada Target 1. The CBD commits signatories like Canada to ensure its protected areas are effectively and equitably managed. Similarly, Canada’s conservation vision: a report of the National Advisory Panel [PDF] recommended that PAME be applied to 60% of protected areas by 2020 and 100% assessed by 2030. Canada’s progress on PAME can be viewed on the Protected Planet website, a site that contains the global database of protected areas and PAME evaluations.
In 2018, BC Parks made a commitment to begin conducting PAME evaluations through the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Service Plan, starting with a conservation assessment of the Garibaldi Complex.
- Garibaldi Complex conservation assessment
Full report [PDF], summary [PDF], and blog post
- Muskwa-Kechika Park and Protected Area management effectiveness evaluation
Summary [PDF] and blog post
BC Protected Areas Research Forum
The BC Protected Areas Research Forum is an event hosted every two to three years that brings together researchers, knowledge holders, advocates, managers, and community members who create, share, and use research and knowledge for parks and protected areas management in British Columbia. The forum is relevant to all levels of protected areas: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, tribal parks, municipal and regional district parks and provincial and federal parks.
The most recent event was held at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo in December 2022. It was co-organized by BC Parks, the World Leisure Centre of Excellence at Vancouver Island University and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, with support from the Canadian, Parks, Protected and Conserved Areas Leadership Collective (CPPCL). Conference recordings and abstracts are available on a legacy site hosted by CPPCL.