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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd August 2010
Office of the Auditor General
Government has a clear vision to conserve ecological integrity in the province's parks and protected areas, but not the plans to achieve this, says Auditor General John Doyle in his latest report.

"British Columbia's parks and protected areas - about 1,000 in all - are integral to the quality of life in this province," said Doyle. "Despite its declared intentions and clear vision to conserve the ecological integrity in these areas, the Ministry of Environment is not meeting this goal."

The audit assessed whether the ministry is meeting the current BC Parks Program Plan goal of being recognized for leadership in the stewardship of ecological and cultural integrity. Conserving ecological integrity contributes to protecting biodiversity, preserving wilderness, and maintaining ecosystem services, such as water purification and erosion control.

Key findings included: while the ministry had a clear goal, its plans were incomplete or dated; conservation policies are not being consistently upheld; and little action has been taken to ensure conservation. As well, the ministry is not reporting publicly on its progress.

"I was deeply impressed by the commitment of ministry staff to their program, and look forward to receiving updates on their plans and actions," said Doyle. "While achieving the goal of conserving ecological integrity will be challenging, taking action now will ensure that our province's parks and protected areas are available for future generations to enjoy."