1 Our Work | West Coast Environmental Law


Our Work

Water and Infrastructure

Local government decisions concerning building approvals, subdivision development and other municipal infrastructure have significant connections to our watersheds and stream health.

Forests & Climate Change

British Columbia’s vast natural legacy of wildlife and ecosystems are under threat from climate change, including the clean water and other “life support services” they provide for us. According to conservative scientific predictions, in this century, climate change will place 20 to 30 per cent of animal species at high risk of extinction. Therefore, BC needs strong laws that both dramatically reduce our emissions of greenhouse gas pollution and help native species of plants and animals better withstand the effects of climate change.

Global Warming Solutions

treetall.jpgAddressing the impacts of climate change is the environmental, social and economic imperative of our time. Scientists tell us that major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to halt rising global temperatures and to adapt to changes in climate that are already occurring.

More Issues

Over the course of our 35 year history, the focus of our work has periodically shifted to address the emerging environmental challenges that face British Columbia. But, while we may be working on new issues, our historical work often remains relevant and valuable. In this Other Issues section we have highlighted important work from previous programs that is still valuable to British Columbians today.

This work includes:

Environmental Legal Aid

West Coast Environmental Law believes that the law is society’s most powerful tool in protecting BC’s environment. Most importantly, the law is a tool that can be used by anyone, anywhere to protect his or her community and to become a champion for the environment. Since 1974, West Coast Environmental Law has helped British Columbians access the legal help they need to protect their environment.

Environmental Assessment

Environmental assessment (EA) is the formalized process of identifying and assessing the impacts and possible contribution to sustainability of a proposed development, decision, plan or policy and then planning to avoid or mitigate negative impacts and advance sustainability priorities. EA falls into two broad categories - project EA and strategic EA. Strategic EA further divides into two sub-categories; regional strategic EA (e.g.

Indigenous & Aboriginal Law

West Coast Environmental Law provides legal and strategic support to First Nations who are revitalizing, articulating, and applying aspects of their laws in relation to questions of environmental governance.

Green Communities

Sometimes making the world a better place happens close to home—in your backyard, your neighbourhood or your community. Through its Green Communities program West Coast Environmental Law works to support healthy, resilient communities, guided by the understanding that the building blocks are healthy ecosystems, engaged citizens, and strategic planning that protects the interests of future generations.

Climate Change

Climate change is the greatest ecological challenge of this century. Since West Coast Environmental Law’s early work in the nineties to advocate for greenhouse gas reduction targets, climate change has moved from a scientific discussion to a critical mainstream concern. We now experience more extreme weather, pest outbreaks like the pine beetle, melting glaciers with rising sea levels, and looming water shortages due to climate change.

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