The BCT plays a role to ensure compliance with private land conservation agreements.
The BCT can enter different types of private land conservation agreements with landholders:
- Funded conservation agreements, partnership conservation agreements, or wildlife refuge agreements under the BCT’s private land conservation programs.
- Funded biodiversity stewardship agreements under the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.
The BCT’s experience is that the vast majority of landholders who participate in private land conservation wish to do the right thing and implement their agreement. Some of these landholders need practical or technical support to do this well or efficiently. The BCT has developed a comprehensive Landholder Support Program to meet this aim. The BCT’s technical support activities include things like technical guidelines, landholder workshops and phone-call advice.
Where non-compliance with an agreement is suspected, the BCT will consider appropriate action on the basis of a risk assessment. This can extend to taking civil enforcement proceedings to remedy or restrain a breach of an agreement.
Beyond this, the BCT is not established as a regulator to act on alleged offences under any legislation. There are no criminal offences associated with agreement non-compliance. If an agreement holder is alleged to have committed an offence against the BC Act, such as removing a protected or threatened plant species, this would be a matter for the appropriate regulatory authority. Generally, this would be the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).
You can find the BCT’s Compliance Policy here.