We want to shine a spotlight on one of the IMPAC5 hosts: the Province of British Columbia. Alongside the Host First Nations—xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-waututh Nation)—together with the Government of Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), we are pleased that the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) is supporting IMPAC5 and inviting us all to celebrate the richness of B.C.’s ocean and coast on the global stage.
With approximately 36,000 kilometers of shoreline, 6,500 islands and over 450,000 square kilometers of internal and offshore marine waters, Pacific Canada is one of the most diverse and productive marine environments in the world. Recognizing the value of these areas to British Columbians and visitors alike, the Province has been a leader in establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) across the coast of British Columbia for more than 100 years.
The Province of British Columbia has committed to developing a Coastal Marine Strategy — in cooperation with the federal government, Indigenous Peoples, and coastal communities — to provide a blueprint for future stewardship, economic resilience and management of its coastal waters for generations to come. This work will complement B.C.’s existing commitments to collaboratively develop a network of MPAs on the North Pacific Coast and implement integrated marine plans as part of the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP).
The Coastal Marine Strategy is also being developed alongside a Watershed Security Strategy and Wild Salmon Strategy under the new Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship. Established in April of 2022, the ministry will take a holistic and integrated approach towards priorities of ecosystem health, reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and economic opportunities for British Columbians on both the land and water.