Our Working Groups
To facilitate in-depth discussions, the Council has created five Working Groups (WGs) focused on priority actions.
Members of the First Nations–BC Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum (Forum) participate on all WGs to ensure Indigenous perspectives are included.
Governance and Reconciliation Working Group
Goal 5 of the Together for Wildlife Strategy is that “Collaborative wildlife stewardship advances reconciliation with Indigenous governments.”
The Governance and Reconciliation WG provides recommendations to the Council on ways to ensure clear governance, inclusive and aligned to reconciliation goals, supports the success of Together for Wildlife. This WG is supporting one of the Forum sub-groups to progress this goal.
Funding Working Group
Action 13 of the Together for Wildlife Strategy notes that: “In 2021, in collaboration with the Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and the First Nations–B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum, we will review existing and potential new creative funding models and make recommendations to ensure sufficient, dedicated, long-term funding for wildlife and habitat stewardship in British Columbia.”
The Funding WG is providing recommendations to the Council on opportunities to leverage funding and establish a new dedicated funding model. The WG:
- Has developed principles for the dedicated funding model,
- Has been investigating how other jurisdictions create dedicated funding models (e.g., Minnesota – add link)
- Will be working with consultants to develop an economic business case to support requests for additional funding, and
- Is looking at opportunities to leverage funding from other sources, including Canada’s Nature Legacy.
Objectives and Stewardship Working Group
Action 8 of the Together for Wildlife Strategy states that: “Beginning in 2020, we will establish clear, measurable objectives for wildlife stewardship that take into consideration the interactions among species. In 2021, in collaboration with the Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and the First Nations–B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum, we will draft a renewed approach for setting objectives and linking wildlife populations and habitat. We will implement this approach after broad engagement, by developing provincial stewardship frameworks and regional stewardship plans for priority species and populations.”
The Objectives and Stewardship WG is providing recommendations to the Council on the development and implementation of a provincial framework for setting wildlife population and habitat objectives. The WG:
- Reviewed existing information on wildlife objective-setting (e.g., jurisdictional scans from across North America, reports from inter-ministry government workshops, reports summarizing past engagement sessions with First Nations and stakeholders) and built a workplan to address priority challenges.
- Completed a “Towards a Policy for Wildlife Stewardship Planning and Objective-Setting in B.C.”, to guide the Ministry on development of this policy.
- Prepared short and long-term recommendations for the Minister on objective-setting.
Research Working Group
Goal 2 of the Together for Wildlife Strategy states: “Data, information, and knowledge drive better decisions. We will make new investments in biological, social, cultural and economic data collection, as well as cumulative effects assessments, research, modelling and monitoring.” This goal consists of 4 actions (Actions 4,5,6,7) that share a common thread of developing and communicating the best possible information to help support management decisions that conserve and restore wildlife in British Columbia.
The Research WG is providing recommendations to the Council on ways to improve natural and social science information and research. The WG:
- Is considering the best options to provide scientific advice to the Minister
- Is working with a contractor to better understand the role that post-secondary institutions can play in re-shaping the status of wildlife science in BC, and
- Is developing recommendations to ensure that data are current, open, and accessible.
Foundations for Working Together
The Council includes a diverse membership and relies on a strong foundation to successfully work together.
This working group has developed Principles for Working Together and Principles for Achieving Outcomes, which are reflected in updated Terms of Reference for the Council.