Joint Land Use Planning Protocol
Agreement was reached at the joint Province/First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group Land Use Planning Session held in March 2006 in Kamloops, British Columbia to move toward a new land use planning protocol consistent with the New Relationship. This direction was confirmed at the Mountain Pine Beetle Forum held in April 2006 in Prince George. At these forums, First Nations participants, identified land use planning as a community priority second only to health and safety of the communities from wildfires.
The MPB forums recognized that land use planning and land use plans are a critical tool for addressing complex environmental, economic, social, and cultural issues facing both First Nations and the Province, and that there is a need to incorporate First Nations interests and values into the provincial land use vision, the overall policy governing land use planning, and all levels of land use plans going forward.
First Nations values and interests are not represented in many existing provincial land use plans and the new Joint Land Use Planning Protocol will give a voice to First Nations people and ensure that plans governing the land reflect First Nations traditional knowledge and culture with respect to planning and caring for the land.
The Land, Marine and Resource Plan Working Group was formed and mandated by the First Nations Leadership Council and Government of BC to develop a joint Land, Marine and Resource Planning Protocol. The Protocol will address: Pre-Planning, Planning, Implementation and Stewardship. It may be used as a template for initiating discussions with the individual/collective First Nations that engage in planning with the Government of BC with the intent that it would be customized by each set of planning discussions.
The working group has recommended the following:
- To secure a Provincial commitment for a $100 million for the First Nation cost of planning over a 5 year process.
- To work with Nesso Watchie Resource Management (NWRM) in the development of a database management tool that is utilized by the Province and BC First Nations in the management of land, marine and resources throughout BC.
- To utilize the Recognition Working Group in the development of legislation as the mechanism to create a legal underpinning/framework for the work flowing from the First Nation Land, Marine and Resource Working Group and to engage BC with regard to revenue sharing.
A process to inform and seek input and support of First Nations will be conducted prior to signing of the Protocol.
The government to government negotiations of the Joint Land Use Planning Protocol Process are meant to dovetail with work being carried out in individual first nations communities through Ecosystem Stewardship Planning.