With the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress as a backdrop, British Columbia Green MLA Adam Olsen and Green MP and federal party leader Elizabeth May called for the federal government to fulfill its responsibilities to protect marine biodiversity.
“We just concluded the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework on Biodiversity in December. Now is the time to act to protect our Southern Resident Killer Whales, prevent the risk of devastating oil spills, restrict the free parking for freighters anchoring in the Salish Sea, act to stop the increasing pollution of ocean plastic and stop the disease-spreading open-pen salmon aquaculture. These are all areas of federal jurisdiction,” said Elizabeth May. “We need to see the Trudeau Liberals walk the talk.”
We urgently need real climate action to address sea level rise and ocean acidification.On ocean plastics, Greens are calling for banning the use of polystyrene in marine-related products. On oil spills, Greens demand the cancellation of the TMX dilbit pipeline. To protect our whales, stopping the freighters backing up in the Salish Sea, dragging anchors damaging benthic organisms and invading whale habitat is critical. That requires the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to take the issue seriously. In all of this, Indigenous sovereignty is critical.
“There is a real opportunity to protect at-risk biodiversity in partnership with First Nations through Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, including Marine Protected Areas. First Nations are leading the way, it’s time for the provincial and federal governments to follow their lead and support these paradigm-shifting efforts. Restoring degraded ecosystems would be a way of providing secure stable jobs for generations to come,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and member of Tsartlip First Nation.
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Fabrice Lachance Nové