Biodiversity Protection

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North Cowichan is striving to become a leader in environmental policies and practice. The Biodiversity Protection Policy intends to identify, quantify and assess significant ecological assets and use this information to develop policies, goals and monitoring programs to protect and restore ecological assets within the Municipality of North Cowichan.

We need your input

The first phase of developing the Biodiversity Protection Policy is to assess existing natural features and biodiversity. This will act as a snapshot of the current state of biodiversity. The deadline to submit your input is February 10, 2023!

Share places you value for nature and biodiversity, or places you think need improvement and tell us why using the StoryMap and survey. Use the version below (best on a desktop device), or link to the StoryMap, depending on your device.

North Cowichan is striving to become a leader in environmental policies and practice. The Biodiversity Protection Policy intends to identify, quantify and assess significant ecological assets and use this information to develop policies, goals and monitoring programs to protect and restore ecological assets within the Municipality of North Cowichan.

We need your input

The first phase of developing the Biodiversity Protection Policy is to assess existing natural features and biodiversity. This will act as a snapshot of the current state of biodiversity. The deadline to submit your input is February 10, 2023!

Share places you value for nature and biodiversity, or places you think need improvement and tell us why using the StoryMap and survey. Use the version below (best on a desktop device), or link to the StoryMap, depending on your device.

Have a question about the Biodiversity Protection Policy? Ask it here. Questions will be answered within four to five business days.

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    Since this is only in phase one, could you please tell me the cost estimate of this project, the contracted company who is doing the report ( if not North Cowichan Staff), and the time frame for the implementation of this policy? Additionally, will this policy also cover private lands?

    Adrienne asked 19 days ago

    Thank you for your questions! Council has authorized spending up to $89,995, plus GST, for the Biodiversity Protection policy, which includes $15,000 for consultation with First Nations. The Contracting Firm for the project is Diamond Head Consulting Ltd. The project began in July 2022 and is anticipated to be complete by May 2023. The project has two main phases – an assessment phase (with report) and a policy development phase (with report).

    The Biodiversity Protection Policy is being developed to identify environmental assets so that we can; recommend policy approaches to protect biodiversity that are consistent with community priorities and update our monitoring and management of North Cowichan’s environment. The Biodiversity Protection Policy will also be used to help inform discussions by Council and the Community on environmental asset management, land use decisions, and bylaws.


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    how does this fit in to all the forest management work being done right now?

    thomas asked 19 days ago

    Thanks for the question! Lands within the Municipal Forest Reserve (MFR) will be included in the mapping and habitat analysis work of the assessment phase. However, a significant and established process is in place to determine how land within the MFR will be managed in the future, the MFR Review. The Biodiversity Protection Policy will therefore be prepared with consideration of management goals resulting from the MFR Review. Conversely, information and advice from the Biodiversity Protection Policy may be taken into consideration by parties engaged in the MFR Review and/or during the development of the forest management plan following the conclusion of the Forestry review.

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    How will aquatic ecosystems and species contribute to the Plan? As aquatic ecosystems are arranged within watersheds and watersheds overlap with political boundaries, many watercourses and waterbodies reside on private properties (including agricultural lands) and influence and are influenced by activities on adjacent lands. Will these systems be at least mapped in the final Plan to see where adverse impacts from adjacent lands may be factors? For example, Quamichan lake's aquatic habitats and water quality is influenced by land management decisions on agricultural and residential properties within the watershed.

    NicholasalohciN asked 21 days ago

    Thanks for your questions! As with land habitat, aquatic areas will be assessed to identify habitat and features of significance. The assessment phase of the project will include work to confirm the mapping of all watercourses , the identification of unmapped watercourses, ditches, and potential areas of overland flow or remnant creeks as well as connected and non-connected wetland or pond features. The marine foreshore will also be mapped to delineate extent and habitat.

    In the policy development phase of the project information from the assessment phase will be used to identify:

    • biodiversity and conservation targets and goals
    • roles for the municipality and staff in the greater policy context
    • education, monitoring, and management programs
    • biodiversity policy opportunities
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    Will the Biodiversity Protection Policy include private lands or only lands owned by the municipality? If private lands, will the municipality seek permission to survey private lots? Is the municipality modelling this Policy off of any existing policies from other municipalities/provinces?

    NicholasalohciN asked 26 days ago

    Thanks for taking the time to contact us with your question. The Biodiversity Protection Policy is being developed to identify environmental assets so that we can update our monitoring and management of North Cowichan’s environment. This information will be used to help inform discussions by Council and the Community on environmental asset management, land use decisions, and bylaws.

    Private lands are not being surveyed in the study. Environmental data is being collected from existing monitoring programs, and environmental mapping work done for the Province, the Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Municipality of North Cowichan. Field verification of this data was achieved by work on public lands.

    The Municipality has engaged DiamondHead Consultants to prepare a plan for North Cowichan that is specific to our communities needs. DiamondHead has been directed to develop a biodiversity policy document that considers:

    • Our unique ecological assets
    • Elements of our environment deemed significant by residents of North Cowichan
    • Elements of our environment identified by First Nations communities as ecologically and culturally significant 
    • Existing environmental monitoring and management programs in North Cowichan
    • Existing environmental regulations in North Cowichan
    • The capacity of North Cowichan staff to implement and achieve existing and new policy goals
Page last updated: 24 Jan 2023, 12:07 PM