Conservation Fund Guide for BC

“Establishing a Regional Conservation Fund in British Columbia” is a guide for municipal and regional governments and non-governmental organizations looking to create a dedicated source of funding to support conservation efforts. The guide provides an overview of the steps involved in establishing a conservation fund and a service based on a levy or fee and includes examples of successful conservation fund campaigns and experiences.

Why establish a conservation fund?

Ecologically important lands sustain natural systems and provide us with essential ecosystem services. These ‘free’ services include: flood control, air and water purification, temperature  moderation, soil formation, pollination of fruits and vegetables, and storage of carbon from the atmosphere, to name just a few.

British Columbia is an exceptional place, known for its spectacular landscapes and wildlife. Accelerating demands for land development have put a great deal of pressure on many regions in B.C. Most local governments and conservation groups have limited resources available to identify and protect the lands most suitable for conservation. A conservation fund provides the means for local governments and conservation organizations to secure ecologically significant lands, protect natural ecosystems, enhance livability within the region, and create a legacy that will benefit future generations.

How can a conservation fund be established?

There is no “one size fits all” method to establishing a conservation fund; everything from choosing a legislative approach, to deciding how to finance the fund, to engaging and educating the community depends on the nature and needs of the region.

The guide covers seven main topics that should be considered during the fund establishment process:

  1. Identifying a team to work on establishing the fund
  2. Determining community priorities and gauging support for the fund
  3. Designing the conservation fund
  4. Choosing the best legislative approach to establish the fund
  5. Deciding how to finance the conservation fund
  6. Defining the boundaries

Making the case for conservation and  building consensus: To be successful in establishing a conservation fund, support is required from two different sources: the local government that will host the fund, and the community that will pay for it. A communication strategy will help with framing the issues, outlining communication tactics, defining tasks and  responsibilities, laying out a timeline, and determining budget needs.

The SOSCP acknowledges funding and support for this project from: The Vancouver Foundation, Real Estate Foundation of BC, and the Stewardship Centre of BC.

 

 

 

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