Natural Areas Conservation Program
The Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a partnership to accelerate the rate of private land conservation and protect important natural habitat in communities across southern Canada.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) administers the program, securing ecologically significant lands — including forests, grasslands and wetlands — with the participation of Ducks Unlimited Canada and other land trusts. Habitat protected under the NACP connects or enhances corridors to existing protected areas, such as national parks, national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries.
A significant investment in nature
Since 2007, $322.5M has been invested in the NACP by Environment and Climate Change Canada. This investment has been matched with more than $646M in contributions of donated land and funding from provincial governments, the private sector and Canadians at large.
More than 446,000 hectares (1.1 million acres) have been conserved since the onset of the program. The NACP is on track to conserve $1B worth of ecologically significant land by 2020.
The NACP has allowed NCC to connect more Canadians than ever to our country’s conservation mission. NCC also proudly partners with farmers and ranchers on working landscapes to keep lands productive while enhancing their conservation values.
An investment in a natural future
In the most recent phase of the program, from April 2014 to March 2016, more than 12,000 hectares (29,000 acres) of habitat was protected. Habitat not only conserves our biodiversity, it also sequesters carbon dioxide and stores a substantial amount of carbon. Conserved areas provide opportunities for ecosystems and species to adapt to climate change and help mitigate threats, such as flooding and drought.
The program also protects habitat for many of Canada’s endangered and iconic species, such as grizzly bear, mountain caribou and plains bison. To date, habitat has been protected for more than 210 COSEWIC*-assessed species at risk.**
Funding for Other Qualified Organizations (OQOs)
Up to $5 million of funding from the Natural Areas Conservation Plan is available to support conservation in communities across Canada. This funding is administered by NCC and is designed to support eligible land trusts across Canada secure ecologically significant areas.