Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia
VICTORIA – According to Auditor General John Doyle’s latest report, titled An Audit of Biodiversity in B.C.: Assessing the Effectiveness of Key Tools, biodiversity in B.C. is declining and government is not doing enough to address this loss.
“Biodiversity is critical to the health and well-being of British Columbians. Therefore we expected government to be ensuring that its actions are effective,” said Doyle. “We found that government doesn’t know if its actions are conserving biodiversity. There are several barriers to government being effective, including a lack of information, gaps in legislation and poorly implemented policies and tools.”
Doyle’s report reveals that despite the B.C. government’s decades-long objective to conserve biodiversity, and commitments made on the national and international stage, government is not fully implementing or monitoring its habitat-protection tools.
“Habitat preservation is critical to the conservation of biodiversity and government’s lack of implementation and monitoring is troubling,” said Doyle. “My office reviewed the government’s habitat conservation efforts 20 years ago and many of the issues identified in that report were also identified in this audit.”
The United Nations declared 2011-20 the Decade on Biodiversity. Doyle’s report states that B.C. has an opportunity to be an international leader and bolster its reputation on the world stage by ensuring that, by 2020, it has reversed the current decline in the province’s biodiversity. However, to reach this target will require specific, strategic actions by government. This report makes six recommendations on how the provincial government can work towards this.
The Auditor General is a non-partisan, independent officer of the Legislature who reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. The Auditor General Act empowers the Auditor General and his staff (known as the Office of the Auditor General or the OAG) to conduct audits, report findings and make recommendations.