Working together to Keep Nature in our Future.

South Okanagan-Similkameen
Conservation Program

Conservation Fund Guide for BC

“Local Conservation Funds in British Columbia” is a guide for municipal and regional governments and non-governmental organizations looking to create a dedicated source of funding to support sustainability conservation efforts.

This second edition of the guide provides essential information for establishing a conservation fund and a service based on a levy or fee, including current case studies and examples of successful conservation fund campaigns and experiences from around BC.

Links to existing local conservation fund information including Terms of Reference, approved projects and more:

Examples of bylaws for establishing environmental conservation services (conservation funds):

  • Regional District Central Kootenays Local Conservation Fund Service Bylaw: View PDF Document
  • Regional District East Kootenays Local Conservation Fund Service Bylaw: View PDF Document
  • Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Local Environmental Conservation Service Bylaw: View PDF Document

Why establish a conservation fund?

Conservation funds support projects that reflect local priorities such as:

  • Protecting clean water sources.
  • Conserving natural areas for people to enjoy.
  • Restoring fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Strengthening community vitality and sustainability by caring for ecosystems and the benefits they provide.

British Columbia is an exceptional place, known for its spectacular landscapes and wildlife. Accelerating demands for land development have put a great deal of pressure on many regions in B.C. Most local governments and conservation groups have limited resources available to identify and protect the lands most suitable for conservation.

A conservation fund provides the means for local governments and conservation organizations to secure ecologically significant lands, protect natural ecosystems, enhance livability within the region, and create a legacy that will benefit future generations.

Three Good Reasons to Support Conservation Funds: 

  1. Ecosystem services – A healthy environment provides us with clean water, pure air, and many other natural resources. It can be very expensive to try to make things right after we have damaged our environment. It’s smart to take care of what we’ve got.
  2. A healthy environment supports a healthy economy – Robust property values; attractive, investable, safe communities; tourism, agriculture, and other renewable sectors all rely on a functioning environment.
  3. Local control – Funds are generated locally and directly benefit the community.

How can a conservation fund be established?

There is no “one size fits all” method to establishing a conservation fund; everything—from choosing a legislative
approach, to deciding how to finance the fund and engage the public—depends on the nature and needs of each community.

The expands on seven main tasks that should be considered during the fund establishment process:

  1. Identifying a team to work on establishing the fund
  2. Determining community priorities and gauging support for the fund
  3. Making a case for the conservation fund
  4. Designing the conservation fund
  5. Deciding how to finance the conservation fund
  6. Understanding the establishment options
  7. Selecting the appropriate approval process to establish the fund.

Making the case for conservation and building consensus: To be successful in establishing a conservation fund, support is required from two different sources: the local government that will host the fund, and the community that will pay for it. A communication strategy will help with framing the issues, outlining communication tactics, defining tasks and responsibilities, laying out a timeline, and determining budget needs.

The SOSCP acknowledges funding and support for this second edition from: The Real Estate Foundation of BC, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation of BC, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and the Schad Foundation. 


What’s NEW

Welcome to the Conservation Fund Guide for BC site

This is home for the essential “how-to guide” for local governments and community organizations looking to build a dedicated source of funds for conserving nature, now and for the future.” This is the second edition of the guide, and includes fresh, up to date success stories, case studies and tools to help local governments and community organizations establish conservation funds in BC.

The vision of SOSCP is to maintain a healthy environment that sustains the diversity of indigenous plants and animals while enriching people’s lives. The six broad strategic objectives that guide SOSCP activities are:

SOSCP recognizes that decisions, policies and practices are important to ecological conservation and works to provide the tools and guidance needed to make sustainable planning choices.

Sustainable Land Use Planning

Supporting the acquisition of key habitats includes purchases, covenants or donations of private land, often in conjunction with enhanced protection of Crown lands. Securement activities include restoration, care, and management of these important areas.

Securing Key Habitats

SOSCP promotes stewardship activities and encourages landowners to protect biodiversity, enhance habitat for plants and wildlife, and manage lands sustainably.

Enhancing Stewardship on Public and Private Land

Involving communities in conservation is essential. SOSCP support professional development workshops, school programs, festivals and outdoor seminars that foster a love and understanding of our natural environment.

Expanding Community Involvement

SOSCP is committed to using a science-based approach to guide actions and decision-making, and to promote and facilitate further scientific research for species and ecosystems at risk.

Applying a Science-Based Approach

The En'owkin Centre continues its work to recover, revitalize and perpetuate Syilx Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) so it can be applied throughout traditional Syilx territory.

Applying Traditional Ecological Knowledge

South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program