Nature Conservancy of Canada president in Winnipeg to help Manitoba's efforts
Some of the world's climate-change solutions are in our backyard
Private land conservation has an important role to play in curbing global climate change and mitigating its impacts on our communities, as acknowledged by the world’s experts, politicians and business leaders at the current UN Climate Change Conference.
Delegates at COP 26 are highlighting priorities for the world to focus on in order to help address the climate crisis. Those priorities include adapting to protect our communities and natural areas from the impacts of climate change and securing the funding to do the work that’s needed. Nature-based climate solutions can provide more than 30 per cent of the emissions reductions needed to stabilize our warming world.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) says private land conservation and restoration are cost-effective and important solutions to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.
To learn more about those conservation and restoration possibilities in Manitoba, Catherine Grenier, NCC president and CEO, is in Winnipeg for two days of meetings with staff, donors and supporters. It is her first in-person appearance in the province since taking the helm of the charitable organization during the pandemic.
Across Canada, NCC has helped conserve 14 million hectares (35 million acres) of forests, wetlands, grasslands and coastal ecosystems since 1962, including over 71,161 hectares (175,843 acres) across 10 natural areas critical to Manitoba's biodiversity.
“There has never been a more important time for nature conservation,” said Grenier. “We are pleased to deliver part of the solution when it comes to addressing climate change. From raising the necessary funds for private land conservation to protecting and restoring these ecosystems, our organization is pleased to support Canada’s climate and conservation goals, among them to protect 30 per cent of the country’s land and water by 2030. When we collaborate with our diverse partners, we can unlock a suite of climate solutions.”
Kevn Teneycke, NCC’s Manitoba regional vice president, says our climate solutions lie in the roots of our grasslands, in the depths of our lakes and in the canopies of our forests. He adds that NCC will continue to partner with local communities, Indigenous Peoples, scientists, ranchers, governments and industry to protect areas of high ecological value.
“With the droughts and heat waves experienced this past summer, the impacts of climate change are more apparent than ever. Many private conservation projects in Manitoba can provide global benefits, as they pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it. They'll provide local climate benefits through enhanced flood and drought mitigation. These areas are also key habitats for our rare and threatened plants and animals,” said Teneycke.”
Grenier says by investing money, expertise and time into land conservation, we are securing the future for the next generation.
“Together, we have the opportunity to build toward a greater good — a thriving world. Because when nature thrives, people thrive,” Grenier added.
Teneycke notes that conservation areas, like the ones secured by NCC and its partners, help protect communities from extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change. Wetlands swell like sponges during periods of heavy rain and snowmelt, slowing water flow and saving communities downstream from potential flooding. Forests and grasslands play a role too, not just in storing carbon, but in cleaning the air around them and managing water flow.
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