Canada faces two major environmental challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change. Municipalities can play a key role in conserving natural environments.
Initiated by CPAWS, the Municipality Fund for Biodiversity (MFB) is a partnership involving the Government of Canada, participating provincial governments and municipalities, and other concerned parties all committed to the protection of nature, mitigation of climate change and protection of biodiversity.
The objectives of the MFB are to increase protected areas, reduce habitat degradation, enhance biodiversity and protect species-at-risk in and around Canadian municipalities.
Canadians massively support conservation of nature and protection of biodiversity and are willing to contribute to the solution.
Urban and community sprawl is resulting in the loss of natural assets, particularly in southern Canada. Many southern municipalities have a high number of species at risk and are at the front line in preventing habitat loss and preserving biodiversity. Urban infrastructure and practices can also damage waterways and other natural assets.
The Municipality Fund for Biodiversity is an innovative approach that allows municipalities to accumulate, and secure matching funding for taxpayer contributions for the fight against biodiversity loss and adaptation to climate change.
It also allows:
- Connecting municipalities to enhance conservation and protection impact and to link wildlife populations
- Contribution to the establishment of wildlife corridors across and between municipalities
- Raising awareness of the economic value of natural resources as assets and contributors to financial stability in municipalities
- Enhancement of the value of natural assets to citizens in terms of healthy living environments, mental health, and economic value
How does it work?
On a voluntary basis, each municipality or city is invited to join the Municipality Fund for Biodiversity by contributing a maximum amount equivalent to $1 per household (or tax unit) per year. This is a taxpayer contribution reserved for the municipality. The MFB then matches the taxpayer contribution at a variable annual rate depending on the availability of matching funds.
Municipalities can present projects to support the creation of new protected areas or otherwise protect biodiversity in that municipality’s region (see admissible projects section below). For approved projects, the MFB releases accumulated funds to the municipality for implementation. Currently, the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada, is providing support for coordination and staffing for outreach to municipalities. Provincial governments and green-friendly private funding sources are being approached to participate in the project as well.
Ideally, a municipality’s initial commitment would be for three years to provide stability in implementation. In Quebec (link in French, English coming soon), more than fifty municipalities have joined the MFB. Their concrete commitment to the protection of natural environments is inspiring municipalities elsewhere.
Projects developed by municipalities will be evaluated by an expert panel according to the following criteria:
- Protection and enhancement of natural environments and biodiversity;
- Restoration of degraded environments and reinforcement of ecological integrity of ecosystems;
- Benefits for connectivity, including contribution to the establishment of wildlife corridors and facilitating wildlife movement between existing protected areas through the surrounding matrix;
- Contribution to the fight against and adaptation to climate change and support for the mitigation of its effects; and
- Strengthening of parks and public land management.
If assessed projects are determined to be eligible, the funding will be released from the MFB for project implementation in the municipality.
For more information:
Hugh Brodie, National Development and Municipality Fund for Biodiversity Coordinator
Phone: 819-923-3305 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project was undertaken with the financial support of: