Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy

In response to a priority action from the City’s 2018 Environment Strategy and Action Plan, the City is developing a Biodiversity Strategy to meet the goal to “protect and restore the ecological integrity, biodiversity, and connectivity of our natural areas”.

The term “biodiversity” describes the variety of life found in an ecosystem or habitat. When many forms of life have the habitat and resources they need to survive, this often coincides with an increase in biodiversity. As New Westminster continues to grow, innovative planning and citizen action can help to increase the amount and quality of its natural areas and environment. This benefits not only wildlife but also improves the livability of our city, helping it to achieve its goal of reducing the impacts of climate change.

Public Engagement

The City engaged members of the public to discuss biodiversity and natural areas at a public information session held online on September 16th, 2020. Fifteen members of the public participated in the information session. Members of the public also had the opportunity to highlight important places for biodiversity on an interactive online map. A total of 19 important locations were submitted by the public through the online map.

View the presentation.

Several themes emerged from these engagement events. Many participants highlighted the importance of natural and semi-natural areas found in the City’s parks to support biodiversity and the broader benefits they provide to residents. The importance of enhancing other areas in the city on public and private land to increase habitat was also discussed.

Ideas to enhance biodiversity range from planting more grassy areas with diverse shrubs and plants that support habitat for wildlife and pollinators, to providing more continuous habitat connections between green spaces across the city. Participants also indicated great interest in seeing the community more involved in initiatives to restore natural areas. Findings from the public engagement will be summarized in the Biodiversity and Natural Areas Strategy.

Next Steps

  • Review draft of Biodiversity Strategy with Environment & Climate Action Committee (Dec 2020)
  • Consultation with First Nations on draft Strategy (Dec 2020 - early 2021)
  • Bring draft Strategy to City Council (early 2021)

 

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