Canadians overwhelmingly want more protection for natural areas and the incredible abundance of life they support.
Our federal government’s commitment to protecting 17% of land and freshwater by 2020 on the way to 25% of land and oceans protected by 2025 and 30% by 2030 is worthy of celebration! Canada and Indigenous partners took important steps in the last four years to protect our shared lands.
People across this country are ready to work together to support protecting our most valuable places. Indigenous leadership and the work of government and communities across the country have put Canada’s natural area protection goals well within reach. We know it can be done.
As Canadians, nature is something we all value. Admiring and enjoying our country’s outdoors is part of who we are. From providing clean air and water to supporting Indigenous communities and local economies, Canada’s natural areas play a vital role in all our lives.
Increased protection is particularly critical to restoring the health and abundance of hundreds of species and helping nature adapt to climate change. We can’t ignore the reality that species are in rapid decline, and some are at very real risk of disappearing altogether.
In addition to the overwhelming public support for protecting more natural areas, all the major federal political parties have also committed to achieving Canada’s international commitments.
Even better news is that, thanks to the hard work of Indigenous leaders and communities, nature groups and government partners, there are proposals for protecting natural areas across the country just waiting for funding that can help get us there.
Indigenous conservation efforts have been leading the way for generations and continue to this day as Indigenous nations exercise their rights and responsibilities over their traditional lands. These efforts have not only put the ambitious expansion of protected areas within reach, they have also created an important opportunity to engage in nation-to-nation partnerships between the federal government and Indigenous peoples. Supporting Indigenous- Protected Areas and stewardship and management of these areas through Indigenous Guardians and other initiatives is critical for Canada’s success in protecting and restoring nature and moving towards reconciliation.
With commitment and action, we can work towards protecting 17% by 2020 on the way to 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. Science shows we need healthy protected land and freshwater to sustain our lives.