The Canadian Nature Network is an alliance of societies, groups, clubs and individuals that share a common relationship either with Nature Canada or one of its 11 Provincial or Territorial Affiliates. We also share the common purpose of appreciating, studying and/or conserving nature.
The Network has accomplished much in terms of contributions to science, on-the-ground conservation, positive impacts on policy development at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, and nature education. For example, 67 percent of the nature groups in Canada provide input into municipal planning processes to protect or manage natural areas, and 51 percent are involved in protecting species at risk. Over 600,000 volunteer hours are donated by members of the Network to their members and their member’s activities.
The Canadian Nature Forum, a partnership consisting of Nature Canada and its Provincial and Territorial Affiliates, brings direction to some of the activities of the Network. The Strategic Plan for the Canadian Nature Network, developed in 2007, has three overall strategic directions: to be stewards of nature; to connect people to nature, and to do our work more effectively and efficiently.
Stewards of Nature
This strategic direction addresses the work that many naturalists enjoy doing most, from monitoring and research to management and advocacy activities that range from erecting nest boxes, to conducting amphibian surveys, to participating on environmental advisory boards and panels to ensure a voice for nature is heard in policy formation. The goal is: To protect nature in Canada at all levels, including species, habitats,ecosystems and sites at local, regional, provincial and national scales.
Connect People to Nature
This strategic direction is concerned with building a nature ethic across the country and engaging more Canadians. Three strategies involve the educational continuum of bringing awareness, knowledge and engagement to the network and targeted public. This public includes youth, Canadians with an interest in nature, and new Canadians. The goal is: To connect all Canadians to nature at all levels; promote an ethic that is supportive and respectful of nature, advance sustainability, and develop a citizenry that is environmentally and ecologically literate.
Do our Work More Effectively and Efficiently
This strategic direction aims at building the capacity and internal strength of the network so that individuals will want to be actively engaged, and so that groups have vigour and energy to realize their mandates. A key strategy is to develop an electronic communications system that links groups together, facilitates sharing, coordinates activities, and provides opportunities for training and skill development. Nationally, the
Canadian Nature Network must enhance communication between French and English members of the Network and move towards some bilingual services. The goal is: To empower all levels of the network by enhancing communication, reducing duplication, and increasing local capacity to realize individual and collective priorities.