Canada's investment in nature is a clear commitment to conservation
Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Gordon MacPherson)
There has never been a more critical time than now to step up the protection of Canada’s natural heritage — its lands and waters and the species they sustain. Nature conservation is a concerted effort that falls on the shoulders of governments, conservation organizations, corporations and every Canadian; it cannot be done alone.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) applauds the Government of Canada’s recent announcement in Budget 2018 that sees a significant investment of $1.3 billion over five years in conserving nature, a step toward meeting Canada’s Target 1 — a pledge to protect 17 per cent of its land and fresh waters and 10 per cent of its marine and coastal areas by 2020.
We are pleased to see the government’s commitment to invest in and prioritize public, private and Indigenous protected areas. We recognize the critical role of private conservation in the government’s commitment, ensuring Canada has places that support people’s livelihoods, give people the space to experience the outdoors and provide resources for humans and wildlife alike. Along with other conservation organizations, we are ready to do more conservation and do it faster, to help slow or reverse habitat degradation and species decline.
Since 2007, NCC, along with our partners and community land trusts from coast to coast, has conserved more than 430,000 hectares (1 million acres) under the Natural Areas Conservation Program, contributing directly to helping Canada reach its conservation goals. We are pleased to see the government’s contribution of $500 million towards a $1-billion Nature Fund, which encourages collaborative conservation between provinces, territories, corporations and not-for-profit groups to support climate change mitigation and the protection of species at risk.
Federal Budget 2018 is a game-changer; this significant investment is a beacon of hope in a time that needs more good news. NCC is committed to demonstrating our strong leadership as the country’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, and to make a difference to conservation in Canada, and to support conservation efforts by Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples.