Nature Conservancy of Canada announces plan to double its conservation areas, coast to coast
Ambitious $750 million campaign includes key Atlantic sites
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has announced its Landmark Campaign — the largest private charitable campaign for conservation in Canadian history. The $750-million fundraising campaign aims to double the land and water conserved by NCC to 6 million acres (2.4 million hectares), including 500 new land conservation projects across the country.
The campaign will help address concerns that Canadian forests, wetlands, grasslands, freshwater and coastline habitats are declining at a rapid rate. In fact, habitat loss is the leading threat to Canada’s wildlife, especially endangered species.
"We are at a turning point," said John Lounds, Nature Conservancy of Canada president and CEO. "At NCC, we feel nature is Canada’s gift to the world and we have an opportunity, perhaps more than any other country, to make conservation count. It will take young and old alike, working together, to protect the land, water and wildlife so unique to Canada. That’s what the Landmark Campaign is about."
The Landmark Campaign is building momentum, having already raised $551 million and completed 400 of 500 conservation projects. These projects are restoring rare habitats, supporting species at risk, conserving ecologically-significant sites, and improving the quality of our air and water.
Some of the key sites to be conserved under the Landmark Campaign in Atlantic Canada include a coastal area at Freshwater Bay, just outside of St. John's in Newfoundland and Labrador, a beach and forest in the Musquash Estuary near Saint John, New Brunswick; a mature mixed forest in Kingsboro on Prince Edward Island and the Halifax Wilderness Park project in Nova Scotia.
"I am pleased to work with my co-chair Hal Kvisle and a team of senior corporate executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to support NCC in this fundraising effort," said Brian Tobin, co-chair of the Landmark Campaign, and vice chair BMO Capital Markets. "We have close to $200 million remaining to raise, and it’s a goal we will reach. But we’ll only do it with the help of all Canadians. Everyone has a role to play in this project."
As part of the launch of the Landmark Campaign, NCC released its "Nature and Me" survey, in partnership with Ipsos Public Affairs. The survey reveals a growing disconnect between Canadians and nature: although 88 per cent of Atlantic Canada survey respondents agreed "I am happier when I spend time in nature," the majority also said they don’t spend much time in nature due to work and family commitments, and difficulty in accessing nature. Across the country, more than 80 per cent responding to the survey worry that accessible natural areas will not be there for future generations to enjoy.
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