HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia has tabled a long-awaited biodiversity bill that would give the government more power to address threats to the province's ecosystems.

Lands and Forestry Minister Chuck Porter said today the new bill would give the province more tools to manage threats such as invasive species and ecosystem loss.

The Liberal government had originally planned to pass the bill in 2019 when it was first introduced, but Premier Iain Rankin, who was then minister of lands and forestry, said the bill needed more work.

Environmental groups, forestry industry representatives and private landowners were among those consulted as the bill was amended.

Porter says the amendments clarify the powers and purpose of the bill and they state that the creation of biodiversity management zones requires consent from private landowners.

He also tabled changes to the Crown Lands Act to prioritize maintaining the biodiversity of province-owned land.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2021.