Vancouver Island Region Ecosystems

Roles and Responsibilities

The Vancouver Island Region Ecosystems Section:

  • provides a ministry corporate proactive response (including habitat protection, pollution prevention and water management) to proposed non-forest (private land and Crown forest land) developments such as:
    • road and utility corridor (power lines, pipelines and non-forest road) developments
    • aggregate mining proposals
    • shellfish and finfish aquaculture
    • local government and Ministry of Transportation and Highways private land subdivisions
    • local government zoning, by-law and related planning initiatives
    • BC Park management plans
    • land use planning processes led by partners
  • develop environmental management and protection guidelines, Best Management Practices and standards in consultation with partners and stakeholders
  • develop environmental management co-operation agreements with provincial agency partners (such as the B.C. Land Assets Corporation, B.C. Hydro, Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Ministry of Energy and Mines)
  • develop environmental management co-operation agreements (Memoranda of Understanding) with local government (municipalities, Regional Districts, the Islands Trust)
  • develop and implement environmental monitoring programs in urban, rural and agricultural areas
  • assist headquarters and local government with the development and implementation of the Fish Protection Act Streamside Protection Policy Directive
  • develop and distribute environmental inventories (sensitive ecosystem inventories (SEI), the development of sensitive habitat atlases in partnership with the federal and local governments, strategic land use planning inventories – i.e., LRMP)
  • develop and deliver "out-reach" environmental management and protection programs (ex., seminars on Land Development Best Management Practices, workshops on the SEI Conservation manual)
  • coordinate and facilitate Vancouver Island regional input to Treaty negotiating teams
  • coordinate aboriginal consultations
  • manage Vancouver Island region’s geographical information & data management systems
  • develop inter-agency data management agreements
  • lead regional involvement in Vancouver Island region environmental assessments under the Environmental Assessment Act
  • administer Section 9 Notifications under the Water Act, including habitat protection provisions
  • lead and coordinate Vancouver Island regional participation in strategic-scale planning exercises such as regional land use plans (i.e., the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan), land and resource management plans (LRMPs), implementation of the Protected Areas Strategy (PAS), Regional Growth Strategies, Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative (GBEI)

Relationship to Other Regional Programs

Ecosystems Section staff directly provide habitat protection, water management and pollution prevention input into all planning and referral activities except forestry developments on Crown and private land and the Vancouver Island Highway Project (VIHP).

Fish and Wildlife’s Habitat Protection program retain direct responsibility for providing habitat protection input into all forestry and VIHP planning and proposals. Water Management and Pollution Prevention program staff incorporate habitat protection into their regulated processes (i.e., water licences and approvals, waste management permits) and consult with Ecosystems Section staff with regard to habitat protection issues where necessary.

Ecosystems Section staff consults with Fish and Wildlife, Water Management and Pollution Prevention programs as required and work with Conservation Officer staff in both proactive and reactive compliance and enforcement activities.


Vancouver Island Region’s Ecosystems Section:
General Direction

  1. Improving working relationships through development of agreements with other agencies and other levels of government that highlight a proactive working relationship which emphasizes partnerships in environmental protection
  2. Ensuring a ministry corporate response to development referrals
  3. Reducing the need for site-specific project referrals through a variety of measures that provide development approval agencies and proponents with guidelines, best management practices (BMPs), maps, environmental inventory information, etc. that can assist proponents proactively with their development design
  4. Improving co-ordination of regional input into Treaty negotiations and aboriginal consultations
  5. Improving co-ordination of regional input into strategic level planning exercises, environmental assessments, other initiatives requiring more than a program level response
  6. Monitoring for compliance with guidelines, BMPs, etc.
  7. Co-ordinating and facilitating GIS and data management support for regional planning and inventory activities and related activities of other programs

Best Management Practices

Vancouver Island Region - Beaver Management Guidelines (PDF 235Kb)
Appendix B:
Beaver Management Guidelines in British Columbia
(PDF 352Kb)

BMP – Land Development

Appendices to BMP – Land Development (PDF 192Kb)

Urban Bio-Inventory: Terms Of Reference (PDF 65Kb)

BMP – Aggregate Extraction (PDF 291Kb)

Sensitive Ecosystems Audit Summary (PDF 359Kb)

Sensitive Ecosystems Audit (PDF 633Kb)



Memoranda of Understanding

City of Nanaimo

Regional District Comox-Strathcona

Regional District of Nanaimo