Our aim is true

Birch River, AB (Photo by Carys Richards)

Birch River, AB (Photo by Carys Richards)

Over the next three years, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will conserve an additional 130,000 hectares of priority natural habitat, thanks to the extension of the Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP). With this support, along with matching funds from our partners and donors, NCC’s commitment will result in the protection of natural areas spanning roughly three times the size of Montreal. Since 2007, the NHCP has matched more than $445 million in investment from the Government of Canada, with more than $875 million in non-federal funding to delivere more than $1.3 billion in conservation outcomes. The NHCP is designed to bring partners together to unlock conservation solutions.

Working alongside other program partners, including Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada and the country’s land trusts, NCC will build upon the success of the program. The extended NHCP will help NCC find new and innovative ways to conserve more lands faster, including privately protected areas, publicly protected areas and conservation on working landscapes. NCC will also continue to support and advance Indigenous-led conservation, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.

Lands protected and cared for by NCC under the NHCP will provide benefits for species at risk and migratory birds, and  ensure the health and connectedness of natural systems. They will provide opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and maintain ecosystem services for neighbouring communities. These projects have the potential to capture at least 250,000 tonnes of carbon over the three-year term of the program extension, equivalent to taking 52,000 passenger vehicles off the road  While much has been accomplished through this partnership, the urgency of the biodiversity and climate change crises demand that we do more to ensure a thriving world for nature and people.

Hitting the mark

Contributions from the NHCP since 2007 have helped accomplish:


The total number of hectares of grasslands protected under the program, an area larger than the city of Calgary.


The total number of hectares of forested habitat conserved, an area three times larger than Gros Morne National Park.


The total number of hectares supported by stewardship activities.


The percentage of all NHCP properties within 25 kilometres of provincially or nationally protected areas, contributing to connectivity in these areas.

Key projects since 2007

Next Creek watershed (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Next Creek watershed (Photo by Steve Ogle)

1. Darkwoods Conservation Area, BC
Valleys, mountains, lake

2. Birch River Wildland Provincial Park, AB
Boreal forest

3. Buffalo Pound, SK
Native grasslands

4. Douglas Marsh, MB
Marsh wetlands, native upland prairie

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by Andrew Warren)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by Andrew Warren)

5. Boreal Wildlands, ON
Boreal forest, rivers, streams

6. Kenauk, QC
Old-growth forests, wetlands, lakes

7. Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve, NB
Acadian forest, marshes

8. Conway and Cascumpec Sandhills Nature Reserve, PE
Sand dunes, wetlands

View of Williams Lake at Shaw Wilderness Park in Halifax, NS (Photo by Andrew Herygers/NCC staff)

View of Williams Lake at Shaw Wilderness Park in Halifax, NS (Photo by Andrew Herygers/NCC staff)

9. Shaw Wilderness Park, NS
Temperate forest, marshes

10. Grand Codroy Estuary Nature Reserve, NL
Boreal forest, marshes, wetlands

This story originally appeared in the spring 2023 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. To learn more about how you can receive the magazine, click here.

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada