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CPAWS welcomes announcement of Ministerial Advisory Panel

  • Published on Jun 08 2017 |
  • This article is tagged as: parks

CPAWS welcomes announcement of Ministerial Advisory Panel on achieving Canada’s international commitment to protect biodiversity

For immediate release     
Thursday, June 8th, 2017

OTTAWA – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomes today’s announcement of a National Advisory Panel to provide recommendations to governments on how Canada can achieve our commitment under the International Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 17% of our landscape by 2020. Canada currently sits at 10.3% protection, thus significant work remains to be done.

“We are so pleased to welcome this collaborative effort to protect more of Canada’s land and freshwater which, of course, is the lifeblood of our country,” said Éric Hébert-Daly, CPAWS National Executive Director. “We’ve been encouraging governments to take more ambitious, coordinated action on protected areas for many years. This panel of distinguished conservation experts will help governments craft a plan to achieve the 2020 targets and set the stage for longer term conservation efforts.”

Over 90% of land and all of our freshwater resources in Canada are public, managed by federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, so government action is essential to success.

“We are particularly pleased to see a strong focus on Indigenous perspectives embedded throughout this process to protect more land, including through an Indigenous Circle of Experts, with whom the National Advisory Panel will be working closely,” said Alison Woodley, CPAWS’ National Conservation Director and a member of the newly appointed Panel. “Yesterday Panel members were honoured to participate in an inspiring ceremony led by Indigenous elders to launch our shared work in the spirit of reconciliation, which I believe has set us off on a very positive path.”

In addition to conserving healthy ecosystems and protecting habitat for species at risk, protected areas also provide important benefits, like clean air and water to communities, storing carbon, encouraging healthy active lifestyles, and helping people and nature adapt to climate change.

“All levels of government across Canada have the ability and responsibility to contribute significantly to achieving the 2020 target, and looking beyond 2020 to what nature needs to thrive in the future.  And by doing so they will also deliver on a range of other important environment, economic and social priorities.” said Hébert-Daly.

CPAWS congratulates long-time committed members on their appointment to the Advisory Panel, including Nik Lopoukhine (National Trustee and former Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas) and Harvey Locke (former CPAWS President), along with CPAWS Wildlands League chapter Executive Director Janet Sumner who will serve as the Panel’s co-chair. “The appointment of four past and present CPAWS staff, members, and volunteers is a clear recognition of the value that CPAWS brings to conservation work on public land in Canada,” said Hébert-Daly.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact Stacy Corneau at the CPAWS National Office at 613-569-7226 ext 234 or scorneau@cpaws.org.