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Okanagan Basin Conservation Programs (SOSCP and OCCP) 80+ organizations (government and non-government) working together to achieve shared conservation.

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Presentation on theme: "Okanagan Basin Conservation Programs (SOSCP and OCCP) 80+ organizations (government and non-government) working together to achieve shared conservation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Okanagan Basin Conservation Programs (SOSCP and OCCP) 80+ organizations (government and non-government) working together to achieve shared conservation goals in South, Central and North Okanagan Programs are partnership initiatives, not regulatory agencies; purpose to share info, collaborate, research gaps, set priorities GOALS: Maintain the rich biodiversity of the area. Maintain ecological connectivity throughout the Okanagan Basin Balance community needs with conservation Engage the community in sustainability

2 Conservation Strategies Promote and apply Traditional Ecological Knowledge Acquire Key Properties for Conservation Provide Scientific Information Expand Community Involvement Promote Ecologically Sustainable Land Use Enhance Stewardship on Private Land

3 Developing Biodiversity Conservation Strategies for the Okanagan Basin Biodiversity – the variety of life in all its forms on earth – essentially, everything that we think of as “nature”.

4 The Biodiversity Strategies in the Basin are often strongly supported by goals and policies entrenched in Regional Growth Strategies: “Ensuring the health of ecosystems to provide water, land, air and biodiversity”. Policy: Coordinate management of regional biodiversity conservation Policy: Support environmental stewardship strategies

5 Positions biodiversity protection as one component of regional sustainability that complements others e.g., land use planning, growth management, renewable energy, food security, and sustainable agriculture, transportation and tourism initiatives Purpose of the Strategies Provide practical information on: Why we should conserve and restore natural areas? Which natural areas should be protected and restored? Who can contribute? How to conserve and enhance these natural areas? Strategies & actions


7 Strategy in South Okanagan Similkameen initiated by SOS Conservation Program (SOSCP) in partnership with RDOS in 2009

8 Strategy for North Central Okanagan initiated by Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP) in 2011

9 Here’s what is included in the strategies: Maps showing the natural areas with the highest level of importance for biodiversity conservation Key findings on the status of biodiversity in the region Recommended strategic directions and possible actions that local, provincial and senior governments can pursue to strengthen biodiversity conservation Elements of an implementation plan AND engagement of decision makers and stakeholders

10 Science Analysis and Maps Regional maps to be used as “decision support tools” to help ensure environmentally sound planning and development. Type of Map What it Tells Us 1.Conservation Rankings Which ecosystems are most important for conservation? 2.Relative Biodiversity Where are the “hotspots” i.e., areas of greatest importance for biodiversity? 3.Wildlife ConnectivityHow are habitats linked to form connections that allow wildlife movement? 4.Land Management Classes What’s being managed to protect biodiversity now and where are the gaps and opportunities?

11 What we know about Important Ecosystems? 60 % of the Okanagan Region consists of ecosystems that are high priority for conservation because they are valuable to wildlife, and considered to be sensitive, rare or at risk.

12 What we know about Biodiversity “Hotspots”? 13% of the Okanagan region are biodiversity “hotspots”. They contain special features and rank “very high and high” in value for biodiversity. Valley bottoms are very important. They are only 1/5 th of the total study area, but contain close to half of the high priority conservation habitats.

13 What we know about Wildlife Habitat Connectivity? The Okanagan Valley represents a key north-south corridor Human settlements and the transportation network represent barriers to wildlife movement both north-south and east-west.

14 What do we know about Land Management? Only 10% of the study area are designated as conservation lands (federal, provincial, regional and private protected areas). The majority of the land is public forests/crown lands (almost 70%).

15 Recommendations & “opportunities for action” Local Governments range from: Land use policies and regulations Building on networks of parks, protected areas and greenways Incentives for stewardship on private lands Promoting public understanding of nature Data sharing Developing internal capacity for biodiversity conservation Improving interagency collaboration

16 Senior Governments range from: Improving provincial enabling legislation for local governments Enforcing senior gov’t. legislation, regulations, and standards Managing crown lands – leading by example Improving environmental mitigation and compensation programs Building on the network of protected areas Support land owners with financial and technical assistance Conduct applied research and scientific studies Ensure consideration of environmental protection goals within government permitting processes Recommendations & “opportunities for action”

17 Next Steps Continue to present Basin-wide findings to decision- makers, stakeholders and public; Identify missing elements ie: Water and Aquatic habitats Establish Structure for implementation respective of regional needs, interests and capacity; Finalize Action Plans: roles, responsibilities and timelines; Finalize Measurement, Reporting & Evaluation Plans; Thank you

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