An Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Associate Professor at UNBC has led the charge on a national report.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society unveiled the Canadian Space for Nature Report, which states 93% of residents strongly agree protected areas are necessary.
Canadians also want about half of our land and sea protected by nature.
A shining example of this is right here in Prince George.
“We have the protection of the Ancient Forest and that’s an area that really flew under the radar up until a couple of years ago and was just recently protected,” says Dr. Pamela Wright.
Ottawa recently tabled their 2018 Federal Budget and Wright says while their investments along with the province’s are appreciated, more can still be done financially.
“A fair bit of money was put forth at both the federal and provincial levels for protected areas but their targets are still really low, they are making the kind of creeping kinds of steps but the public is wanting big steps.”
Wright says a project like this was right up her alley and it didn’t take much convincing to jump on board.
“I am a conservation scientist so I am interested in where values lay in a land and what tools we can use to both identify them and protect them and part of that is understanding what the public thinks about those areas.”
With more development and more people pushing the county’s growth to heights, it’s becoming harder and harder to solidify our protected land and sea areas as well as stopping the mass extinction of plant and animal life.
“We’re growing as a country, our development as a country is growing and everything is getting more impacted as time moves on – taking a look at how adequately are our protected areas are conserving biological diversity and providing us great places to play is really important,” explained Wright.
Canada has committed to protect 17% of land and inland waters as well as 10% of our ocean by 2020 to improve the quality of our protected areas.