Ottawa, Ont., August 19, 2019 – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society congratulates the Government of Canada and its partners on today’s announcement of up to $175 million committed for conservation projects across the country as part of the Canada Nature Fund, Pathway to Canada Target 1 Challenge.
Under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada committed to protecting at least 17% of land and freshwater by 2020, and in 2018 the federal government committed over $1.3 billion for nature conservation – the largest such investment in Canadian history. With today’s announcement, the Government is activating part of this investment by enabling provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, NGOs, and other partners to work together towards achieving more protection.
“Today’s announcement is an important step towards safeguarding nature for all Canadians,” says Alison Ronson, Interim National Executive Director of CPAWS. ”With these investments, the Government of Canada and its partners are showing a collective commitment to protecting and conserving our important wilderness and wildlife species.”
CPAWS’ 13 chapters across the country work closely with Indigenous communities on the protection and conservation of traditional territories. Today’s announcement includes a series of 67 conservation initiatives launching in every province and territory, as part of Canada’s Nature Legacy initiative. The details of the projects moving forward under the Canada Nature Fund’s Target 1 Challenge will be released as the agreements with local partners are finalized.
The interest in this new funding program far exceeded the amount that was available, which means there are countless other important conservation projects across the country that did not receive funding at this time. We encourage the Federal Government to recognize and embrace this opportunity to advance conservation by increasing the available funding. Meanwhile, CPAWS looks forward to continuing to work with our many partners on moving all of these projects ahead.
A May 2019 assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that nature is declining ‘faster than at any time in human history’, with 1 million species facing extinction, many in the next decade, unless transformative action is taken. The assessment concluded that the primary driver of this crisis is habitat loss and degradation due to human-caused land use change.
Protected areas are one of the most effective solutions to stopping this decline in nature, which CPAWS has called the “Nature Emergency.” CPAWS is calling on Canada to champion a global goal of protecting and restoring half the earth, with a milestone target of protecting at least 30% of land and freshwater by 2030, and to commit to this at home in Canada.
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For more information, please contact:
National Director of Communications, CPAWS
About CPAWSThe 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 56 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.