Government Commitments


A billion dollars for nature in B.C. as long-awaited agreement is signed

November 3, 2023

The tripartite nature agreement comes with new and old funding to protect old-growth forests, species at risk

The newly minted nature agreement includes dedicated funding to protect old-growth forests. Photo: Taylor Roades / The Narwhal

The Narwhal: Federal, provincial and First Nations leaders gathered against the backdrop of Burrard Inlet Friday to announce a long-awaited nature agreement that promises further protections for old-growth forests and at-risk species.

The agreement, which runs through March 2030, comes with $1 billion in joint federal-provincial funding — some of which has already been announced — including $50 million from Ottawa to permanently protect 1.3 million hectares of “high priority” old-growth forests in B.C. 

Premier David Eby called it a “historic partnership.” “We are so excited because it will enable us to fast track our old-growth protection work, it will enable us to protect habitat for species that are at-risk in our province,” he said.

The agreement ​​— signed by the provincial and federal governments and the First Nations Leadership Council — also includes commitments to support Indigenous-led conservation initiatives, conserve enough old forest habitat to support the recovery of 250 spotted owls and restore 140,000 hectares of degraded habitat within the next two years. 

“This is a major, major agreement on protecting nature,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault told The Narwhal ahead of Friday’s announcement.

“I think people will look at this agreement and say, ‘OK, this is how it needs to be done going forward now in Canada,’ ” he said. “It’s nature, it’s conservation, it’s restoration, but it’s also about reconciliation.”

Click on the following link to read the full article in The Narwhal:

PUBLISHED BY: Ainslie Cruickshank