October 6, 2020
Today, East Coast Environmental Law published a report entitled Protected on Paper Only: An Evaluation of New Brunswick’s Legal Obligations under the Species at Risk Act.
For several years, East Coast Environmental Law has been assessing the Government of New Brunswick’s compliance with New Brunswick’s Species at Risk Act, and our research demonstrates a disturbing pattern in which the provincial government has failed to meet its legal obligations under its own law.
Processes that were designed to protect many of the province’s most at-risk species are not being followed, and government transparency is sorely lacking. The Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development has failed to ensure that the most basic steps to assess, manage, and recover species at risk are completed for all of the species that require such assessments and plans by law. Additionally, New Brunswick’s public registry of species at risk has not been updated in over seven years, making it very difficult for members of the public to hold the government to account.
East Coast Environmental Law is very concerned that the Government of New Brunswick’s failures to meet its legal obligations under the Species at Risk Act illustrate a systemic failure to recognize the critical importance of protecting biodiversity at a time when scientists are telling us that global biodiversity has declined by 68 percent among monitored species since 1970.
We are calling on the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Development to take immediate action to comply with the Act, including by appointing members to the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk, completing outstanding feasibility of recovery assessments, management plans, recovery strategies, and protection assessments, and updating the public registry of species at risk.
For more information, please contact:
Lisa Mitchell [email protected]
Executive Director 902-670-1113
East Coast Environmental Law