Local governments in British Columbia have been securing and conserving natural areas and watersheds since Stanley Park was first created in 1886. Recently, local governments are recognizing their role in conserving forest for additional climate benefits such as reducing emisssions from land degradation and improving nature’s ability to adapt. A great deal of both carbon rich landscapes and ecologically important lands are within regional boundaries and private land, such as Douglas-fir forests.
With the passing of Bill 27, 2008, the Local Government (Green Communities) Statutes Amendment Act, local governments are required to open up their Official Community Plans and provide targets for reducing GHG emissions. To date 179 local governments have also signed the Climate Action Charter which confirms the understanding reached by the Province and the Union of BC Municipalities to take action on reducing greenhouse gases. The Charter commits local governments to voluntarily become Carbon Neutral. The no net deforestation bill will also be significant for local governments as the conversion of land from forestry to subdivision takes place.
Local governments now have legislated opportunities to be innovative and:
- set targets for emissions from degradation and deforestation through land use change
- offset their own unavoidable emissions from the energy sector through land conservation
- set up their own projects of conservation offsets to help finance this work.
If you have a project that you think might be eligible, Living Carbon can walk you through the process. If you are interested click on the Project Eligibility Form and contact us with your ideas. For more information click here for the Local Government Carbon Briefing Note April 5