Currently, about 15 per cent of the land now called British Columbia is protected as parks including provincial parks, national parks, Tribal parks, Indigenous protected areas, park reserves, conservancies and ecological reserves. It has taken generations to increase wilderness protection in BC to the current level, but it's far from complete.
The map below shows existing parks as well as potential protected areas that have been mapped by First Nations, and environmental groups. You can see additional information by clicking on each potential protected area. However, not all potential protected areas currently have their information posted. More info will be posted in the near future. This is a living map - which means that as new information becomes available the map will change. If you have new areas or information to add, please email Joe Foy, Protected Areas Campaigner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Too many significant wildlife habitats, outdoor recreation areas, watersheds, old-growth forests and spiritual wild places that should be protected lands have inadequate protection or are not protected at all. They are at risk of being degraded by industrial development. Around the world, there are many countries, provinces and states that have a much higher level of park protection than BC has. Over 42 per cent of land is protected in Bhutan, for example, and New Zealand has protected nearly 30 per cent of its land area for the purpose of preserving wild nature.
The Wilderness Committee is calling for an eventual protected area system reaching 50 per cent of the land area. We are currently gathering information on potential protected areas. We have published an on-line map and several education reports on protected area system expansion and are always partnering with local First Nations and community groups to identify and protect more wilderness in BC.
The government of Canada has promised to work with indigenous communities to raise the level of protected lands to 30 per cent by 2030. The Wilderness Committee and many other conservation organizations want the BC government to endorse the federal commitment to reach 30 per cent protection by 2030 which would require a doubling of the protected area system in BC.
BC is the most bio-diverse province in Canada. Let’s work together to hand down this natural living treasure to future generations!
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With Indigenous nations leading the way, we can accomplish the desperately needed expansion of the protected area system in B.C. We could see it double in size by 2030 to meet Canadian promises made on the international stage.