Riding the wave of momentum for conservation

r1 What we're looking forward to in 2023 ... r19 January 2023 | Legal e-Brief FacebookTwitter LinkedIn InstagramYouTube WCEL logo Donate today!

Dear Paov,

2023 is already off to a lively start, and we’re excited for another action-packed year harnessing the power of the law to protect nature, climate, and communities. Let’s get into it!

Back in December, West Coast was at the UN Biodiversity Conference (aka COP15 / NatureCOP). Ambitious commitments were made to protect nature in Canada and around the world – below we share our thoughts on this once-in-a-decade event.

Our lawyers also make the case for applying proven, Indigenous-led approaches to combat biodiversity loss, and explain how we can retool existing Crown laws that enable environmental harm.

Finally, keep scrolling for a short video featuring West Coast staff and what brings us hope for the year ahead.

A roadmap to restoring nature: Key takeaways from COP15 At last month’s UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15), our team was busy advocating for bold commitments and major investments in conservation and Indigenous-led stewardship. Read our take on the outcomes from COP15, and what needs to happen next.

In 2023, West Coast will continue holding decision-makers to their commitments to ensure that big promises to safeguard land, water, and ocean are backed by law.
Indigenous protected and conserved areas are vital for biodiversity, and much more Ramping up support for Indigenous-led conservation was an important theme at COP15 – and it will be crucial in order for Canada to reach its target of protecting 30% of land and ocean by 2030.

In a recent blog, Articling Law Student Navjot Jassar sheds light on the importance of IPCAs (Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas) not only for biodiversity and the economy, but also reconciliation.
Preserving biodiversity means protecting our fish from a thousand cuts Poorly enforced environmental laws risk undermining our nature protection efforts overall. There are ways that existing Crown laws – like Canada’s Fisheries Act – can, and should, be used more effectively to protect biodiversity.

For the federal government to live up to its legal duties regarding fish and fish habitat protection, it must stop turning a blind eye to the cumulative harm to habitats ("death by a thousand cuts"), enabled by current policies and decisions. Staff Lawyer Deborah Carlson explains.
You’re invited: Sue Big Oil – A Made in BC Climate Campaign Join this upcoming panel discussion and unpack the principles underlying this daring campaign to hold Big Oil accountable for their deception, and make them pay their fair share for climate damages caused by their products.

Save the date for February 9th, 5 - 6:30pm PT, in-person in Vancouver or virtually on Zoom. Featuring West Coast staff Andrew Gage and Fiona Koza, UBC law professor Stepan Wood, Shake up the Establishment co-founder Manvi Bhalla, and Vancouver City Councillor Adriane Carr. Moderated by filmmaker and activist Avi Lewis.
What brings us hope in 2023 This new year, we asked some of our staff and lawyers at West Coast Environmental Law what brings them hope in their work. Watch this short video and hear what they had to say!

There is urgent work to be done, but with your support, we are hopeful that we will continue to make significant advances towards systemic change in environmental decision-making, for democracy, sustainability, and justice.
A big welcome to our new Climate Communications Specialist We are excited to welcome Martine Panzica to the West Coast team. Martine has a background in international development and past experience as a magazine editor and communications professional.

She is passionate about storytelling and eager to channel her creativity into activating BC communities to Sue Big Oil.

Will you make a New Year's resolution to support a just environmental future? Join our West Coast Wavemakers monthly giving program this year, and give West Coast the consistency and security needed to keep shaping laws for nature and communities.

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