OTTAWA, July 9, 2020 – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is celebrating Canada’s new membership in the Global Ocean Alliance and the federal government’s commitment to work towards protecting 30% of our ocean by 2030. This announcement establishes Canada’s reputation as a world leader in ocean conservation.
“Over the past five years we have seen Canada make remarkable progress in ocean protection with the establishment of new marine protected areas,” said Alex Barron, National Director of CPAWS’ Ocean Program. “We’re thrilled to see Canada join countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Costa Rica, and Palau in calling for protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030.”
As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Canada had committed to protecting 10% of its ocean by 2020. In 2019, Canada declared that it had protected over 13% of its ocean. The 192 countries that are party to the CBD are now negotiating new targets for ocean protection.
“International agreements like the Global Ocean Alliance and the push to protect 30% of oceans by 2030 are vital for achieving real, on-the-water conservation,” said Barron. “We’ve seen Canada quickly go from an international laggard in ocean conservation to a global leader, and the country is now in a position to maintain that momentum and encourage other countries to be ambitious as well.”
CPAWS has been tracking Canada’s progress on ocean conservation for more than a decade and working to support the establishment of marine protected areas since the 1990s. Marine protected areas are a tried and tested conservation tool with proven benefits – they can increase marine wildlife populations and diversity, produce more and bigger fish, and help ecosystems adapt to climate change.
The science is clear that we need to protect at least 30 to 50% of the ocean globally to restore ocean health, protect vulnerable marine life, and rebuild fisheries. A recent study published in Nature suggests that protecting 30% of the ocean with well managed protected areas could restore ocean health in just a few decades. “This is a really important step, and we look forward to working with the Government of Canada to meet these ambitious targets with effective marine protected areas that will provide real benefits from coast-to-coast-to-coast,” Barron adds.
About Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land, ocean, and freshwater, and ensuring our parks and protected areas are managed to protect nature. In the past 57 years, we have played a leading role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to protect at least half of Canada’s public land and water – for the benefit of both wildlife and people. For more information about CPAWS and the work we do to safeguard Canada’s natural heritage, visit cpaws.org.
For more information, please contact:
National Communications Manager
613-569-7226 x 234
National Director, Oceans Program