Sustainable BC

Sustainable BC is a vision for our province dedicated to the principles of sustainability which secures for present and future generations the benefits of a healthy environment and a decent, just and sustainable society.

12 Principles of Sustainable BC

  1. Social equity - Every British Columbian has a right to clean air and water, healthful food, adequate shelter, quality education and health care, safe surroundings, a sustainable livelihood and active participation in the economy.
  2. Democracy and due process - All citizens have a right to access to full and accurate information concerning all elements of public policy, meaning- ful opportunities to participate in decisions that affect them and entitlement to fair treatment by the judicial system.
  3. Protection for the ‘commons’ - The ‘commons’ must be held and managed in the public interest. The shared public trusts are water, air, fish and wildlife, our parks and protected areas, cultural and intellectual assets and amenities such as health care, education, public utilities and infrastructure.
  4. Resilience - Diversity needs to be fostered in communities and in economic, social and infrastructure systems in order to lessen vulnerability to risk, uncertainty and surprise, to maintain flexibility, to aid adaptation in the face of adversity and to facilitate future innovation and infrastructure.
  5. Ecosystem protection - The environment must be protected from pollution or other degradation of air, water or soil exceeding that which can be safely absorbed or renewed by nature.
  6. Biodiversity - Protection of diversity of plant and animal species is essential if ecosystems are to thrive and maintain the resilience necessary for adaptation and survival.
  7. Food security - Increased local and provincial food self-sufficiency is essential. We must protect the agricultural land base, promote environmentally sustainable farm practices and support economic viability for food producers.
  8. Resource conservation - The principles of ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ must govern the use of all materials and energy. Renewable resource
    use should be less than the rate of replenishment, while non-renewable resource use must be decreased in order to conserve and share equitably with future generations.
  9. Precautionary principle - Given the best available information, where there is no scientific consensus on risks that specific actions or policies might pose to human health or the environment, decisions must err on the side of caution. Lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to delay action to prevent harm, where a threat to health or the environment exists.
  10. Full cost economics - The true cost of environmental, social and economic impacts must be fully reflected in the price of all goods and services in order to discourage pollution and resource waste, encourage innovation, encourage socially and environmentally responsible behaviour and true progress toward sustainability.
  11. Adaptive management - In order to achieve sustainable objectives, the use of best available practices and technologies needs to occur within a culture of continuous learning, adequate monitoring and a commitment to modify strategic directions.
  12. Just transition - Mechanisms must be in place to manage the transition toward Sustainable BC so that everyone takes responsibility and no one bears an unfair share of the burden of change.

Characteristics of Sustainable BC

Environmental stewardship through public, corporate and personal actions to restore and maintain ecosystem health, reduce human impact on our planet’s life support systems and preserve the diversity of plant and animal species.

A diversified economy that operates within the environmental carrying capacity, that serves the needs and aspirations of people and local communities and that contributes to genuine socio-economic progress for the province as a whole.

Equity in sharing the wealth of the Province fairly amongst all British Columbians through principles of justice and compassion and the recognition that what we leave to future generations is a sacred trust and the best measure of who we are.

Individual and community well-being that results from all of the above and that is built on mutual respect and co-operation, economic, social and political democracy and shared enjoyment of natural, constructed, creative and spiritual elements of our common heritage and sense of place.