May 27, 2024 | The Canadian Press, The Conversation via UVic News

The vast gaps in British Columbia’s (BC) approach to rectifying the biodiversity crisis was brought to light in an article penned by Jennifer Sunday, David Castle, George Poulakidas, and Mary I. O’Connor for The Conversation. The most apparent issue that the authors pointed out was that British Columbia’s uncoordinated approach, and lack of communication among communities.

This uncoordinated approach has caused efforts to up ecosystem health to be unsuccessful. For example, the authors brought attention to the protocol for protecting endangered species. “When a species is listed on Canada’s Species at Risk Act, the first step for legislated action by the province is to map locations of habitats that are necessary for the species’ recovery” the article outlined. However, because of “poor biodiversity inventories and low engagement across sectors” this step is usually delayed by about 9.8 years. Which is can produce dire consequences.

The solution that the authors outlined was collaboration. As BC’s draft framework is already pointing towards strategies to connect the separate initiatives, curate accessible data, and “fostering innovation, skills, and training,” the authors say it is a step in the right direction, but much more is needed. The authors suggested a transparent “body that draws together independent expertise in biodiversity and social sciences with policymakers and interest groups.”

Dr. David Castle, one of the authors on the article, is a faculty member within the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. His areas of expertise include open science, research data, science, and technology and innovation policy.

Dr. Castle served as the Vice-President Research at UVic from 2014-2019. In 2019 he joined the International Science Council’s World Data System (WDS) Scientific Committee. As stated in his bio on the UVic website, Dr. Castle continues to contribute “to the Canadian and international research environments by focusing on the interactions between science policy, supporting infrastructure, and skills”.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Castle’s work, we recommend you check out his author page on our institutional repository, UVicSpace. Or if you are interested in learning more about saving biodiversity, try searching for “biodiversity strategy” in the browse by subject section.