Nature Canada

Marshes, bogs, fens, swamps, and open water play an important role in protecting our health and well-being, by reducing water pollution, preventing flooding, limiting droughts, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

These landscapes provide hundreds of species with safe places to eat, sleep and raise young. Wetlands are also part of the traditional territories of many Indigenous Peoples who remain deeply connected to these lands. 

One-third of global peatlands are in Canada’s arctic and subarctic areas and boreal regions spread over 1.1 million square kilometers (about 12% of Canada’s land area). They store about 150 billion tonnes of carbon, about 25% of the world’s peatland carbon. 

In settled areas of Canada, up to 70% of our wetlands and peatlands have been destroyed or degraded. Many wetlands have been drained for farming, new buildings and homes, mines, logging, and roads. Due to rising global temperatures, permafrost is rapidly thawing in these areas, altering carbon storage dynamics in peatlands, and increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and methane released. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how peatlands sequester carbon and promote biodiversity, check out the Northern Peatlands in Canada story map, a resource created by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada!

1. Protect

Only one-eight of peatlands are protected in Canada. Expanding this protection is critical.

Peatland Protection →

2. Manage

Conservation finance tools, ranging from tax incentives to payment for ecosystem services, can help private landowners better manage wetlands and benefit their communities.

Only One-eighth of Canada’s Peatlands are protected

Peatlands have been impacted by the peat moss industry and their importance is indispensable — expanding the protection of these landscapes is critical. Road development in wetlands and peatlands should be reduced or prevented. The involvement and leadership of Indigenous peoples are central in all such efforts to protect Canada’s wetlands and peatlands.


Taking Action in Canada

Check out these examples of ways that nature-based climate solutions are being used in wetlands. They might help you to think of projects for your community!

Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.