EAC/ECELAW critique Nova Scotia L&F administered Biodiversity Act process 2Mar2019

The Liberals rolled out their plan to create  a Nova Scotia Biodiversity Act along with a promise to “initiate a thorough and independent review of our current forestry practices” as part of their platform for the 2017 provincial election.

Unlike the Independent Review, there has been very little consultation on the Biodiversity Act.

As in the case with Independent Review, however, with the election over (and the Report of the Independent Review in), NSDNR/L&F revert to their traditional ways, the Company Men take control of the process, do what they damn well please and tell the public nothing until they are ready to do so. (Re: Independent Review: The public is still waiting to hear what’s going on 6+ months after the Report of the Independent Review and 3 months after the Government’s minimal initial response).

View A Biodiversity Act for Nova Scotia AN OVERVIEW AND KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
Ecology Action Centre & East Coast Environmental Law, Released March 1, 2019

From the EAC/ECELAW document:

In our opinion, a law that is meant to address biodiversity loss and preservation in Nova Scotia must be inclusive and ambitious. Without adequate consultation and involvement of stakeholders, Mi’kmaw people and communities, the general public, and those working on the ground with biodiversity, the Act will not be understood or supported in a way that will lead to effective implementation.

Public consultation on the Natural Resources Strategy as the primary basis for engagement on the Biodiversity Act is not satisfactory. Not only has almost a decade passed since those consultations, but the nature and scope of the proposed legislation requires a more in-depth understanding of biodiversity conservation, and thus requires a broader range of expertise. There are many groups, organizations and individuals working on biodiversity conservation, in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, that must be consulted to provide an accurate basis for the current state of the province’s biodiversity and strategies for its conservation, protection and recovery.

Perhaps even more vital to the statute’s development is meaningful Mi’kmaw involvement. Mi’kmaw people, Traditional Knowledge, communities, stories, songs, teachings and beliefs are rich sources of information and values that are essential to understanding biodiversity and how to protect and maintain biodiversity in Mi’kma’ki. We believe a Biodiversity Act that is not informed by Mi’kmaw knowledge and worldview would again fall short of these goals.

The diversity needed in the information collection and consultation phase should also be reflected in inclusive representation on the Biodiversity Council, and the process for selecting its members should be more transparent.

On Social Media

“The Migratory Bird Conventions Act most certainly has been ignored in the woods, and the Act needs to be amended in my humble opinion. We are long past the feather trade and hunting threats. It hasn’t protected birds from the newest threats of harvesting, and of course when it was written ~ 100 years ago, they had not envisioned the clearcutting, and
chipping machines that produce ~ 2 million or more tonnes of biomass/year in NS, much of it quietly shipped overseas -the latest scam that falsely declares that our chipped up old growth sugar maples and other hardwoods are ‘green electricity’, preying upon the naivety of us all. As many are aware, the problem is that a nest actually has to be found in order for the Mig Bird Act to kick in. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if birds were not so crafty at hiding their nests. We are going to need skilled birders and otherwise very patient folk to seek out nests this spring in order to stave off some additional bird decline (and perhaps save some forests). – DC on NatureNS/ABA Birding news, Feb 28, 2019

BW on Annapolis Royal & Area – Environment & Ecology, posted Mar 2, 2019

Some related posts

Forestry becoming an election issue in Nova Scotia
Posted on May 10, 2017

Environmentalists see Liberals’ promised Biodiversity Act for Nova Scotia as a venue to moderate clearcutting
Posted on June 9, 2017

Nova Scotia DNR Biodiversity Council Members Appointed
Posted on June 4, 2018

Are cats more destructive to Nova Scotia’s forest birds than clearcutting?
Posted on June 8, 2018

New manager of biodiversity for the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry downplays significance of clearcutting for biodiversity losses
Posted on November 27, 2018 by admin


‘Sound like I am getting a bit jaded with Government promises, followed by consultation (or not) and deception combined with inaction?

Yup. I have been struggling with forestry related issues for 11 years, others have been doing so much longer.

On a more positive note: a new generation of concerned people is determined not to repeat that experience, the older generation is moving to legal action, and our First Nations peoples are gaining more support and legal rights to care for our natural world.

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