Conservation of Ecological Integrity In BC Parks and Protected Areas: Auditor Generals Report

Posted August 3, 2010 | Categories : BC Parks,Ecological Monitoring,Management,Reports |

See the complete pdf of the report:

OAGBC_Parks Report_OUT2


Executive Summary :

British Columbia’s parks and protected areas
– about 1,000 in all – are integral to the quality of life in this
province. These areas help purify the water, provide habitat to rare
and endangered species, regulate climate, and contribute to British
Columbians’ physical, mental, economic, social and spiritual
A key aim for the majority of our provincial parks and protected
areas is the conservation of their ecological integrity and the Parks
and Protected Areas Division (BC Parks), within the Ministry of
Environment, is the agency responsible for this. Since1993, ecological
integrity has featured prominently in BC Parks planning. Today, the
goal in the BC Parks Program Plan (2007–2012) is that “BC Parks is
recognized for its leadership in the proactive stewardship of ecological
and cultural integrity.”
To assess whether the Ministry of Environment is meeting the goal
of ecological integrity, we examined whether: the ministry has a
vision, plans and operational policies in place for the conservation of
ecological integrity; the ministry is ensuring that ecological integrity
is being conserved in Class A parks and ecological reserves; and the
ministry is reporting on the state of ecological integrity in parks and
protected areas.
Despite its declared intentions and clear vision to conserve the
ecological integrity in British Columbia’s parks and protected areas,
the Ministry of Environment is not successfully meeting this
goal. Specifically, program plans are incomplete and lack adequate
performance measures; conservation policies are not being consistently upheld;
the parks and protected area system has not been designed to
ensure ecological integrity; management plans are dated and incomplete; and
little action has been taken to ensure the conservation of ecological integrity.
We also found that the ministry is not publicly reporting on its
progress in conserving ecological integrity in the province’s parks and
protected areas system.

Auditor General of British Columbia | 2010 Report 3| Conservation of Ecological Integrity in B.C. Parks and Protected Areas

Summary of Recommendations

the ministry update its BC Parks Program Plan so that it includes clarification of ecological
integrity and performance targets that adequately address the ministry’s goal of proactive
stewardship of ecological integrity.
the ministry complete the strategic direction and procedural guidelines for its Conservation
Management Program and ensure that the Conservation Program policies are consistently upheld.
government develop a plan to address current gaps in the parks and protected areas system.
the ministry obtain the information it needs in order to determine management actions for
the conservation of ecological integrity and ensure that its policy of developing a five-year
conservation management activities plan (research, inventory and monitoring) is met.
the ministry review and update its Master Plans Policy to clarify what type of management
plan is required for each park and protected area, how ecological integrity in each area will
be conserved and when each plan should be reviewed and updated.
the ministry conduct annual planning for each park and protected area to determine
what actions are needed to address conservation objectives, threats and stressors,
determine priorities from this plan, and monitor and evaluate action items against
conservation objectives.
the ministry report periodically to the Legislative Assembly and public on how it is
conserving ecological integrity in the province’s parks and protected areas system.