Nature Conservancy of Canada welcomes historic investment in nature in Federal Budget 2021
By taking care of nature, we take care of each other
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to see nature remain a key focus of the Government of Canada.
NCC, a not-for-profit land conservation group, welcomes the historic investment in nature protection in Budget 2021, aimed at addressing the dual threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The federal budget earmarks a $2.3 billion commitment to conserve 1 million square kilometres of land over five years. Combined with funding for the Nature Legacy Initiative in Budget 2018, this is a major boost toward protecting 25 per cent of Canada’s lands and fresh water.
It is in fact the largest-ever Canadian investment in nature. Of note, the funding supports Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, as well as Indigenous Guardians programs.
In addition, the budget delivers:
• $976.8 million to protect 25 per cent of our marine and coastal areas by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030; and
• $200 million in a Natural Infrastructure Fund to support nature-based projects that mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“To invest in nature is to invest in the life support systems that sustain us all,” says Catherine Grenier, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “Clean air, clean water, nutritious food, jobs and our overall well-being depend on nature. In a recent survey, nine in 10 Canadians told us we need to invest more to restore and care for our natural systems.”
NCC also recognizes the unprecedented new funding and targets in Budget 2021 aimed at tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the pathway to a net zero economy by 2050. Nature is a fundamental part of any strategy to combat climate change.
“There is no path to sustainability without nature,” adds Grenier. “At NCC we’re ready to bring more private sector investments to the table and leverage the government’s commitments. Together we can ensure a nature-positive and climate neutral future.”
NCC, a long-time member of the Green Budget Coalition, is pleased to see many of the coalition’s recommendations reflected in Budget 2021.
• Nature conservation not only protects habitat for species at risk, it also protects forests, grasslands and peatlands that store and sequester carbon. Conservation can safeguard wetlands that buffer against flooding and drought.
• NCC works with Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Natural Heritage Conservation Program. This unique public-private partnership draws together government funding, private sector investments and community land trusts to accelerate the pace of conservation in Canada.
• A poll conducted for NCC by Ipsos Public Affairs in November 2020 revealed Canadians are turning to nature to cope with the stresses of the pandemic. More than 90 per cent of those surveyed said nature was more important to them now than ever before.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
- 30 -