Federal government promises landmark nature protection
Mandate letters are the government’s promises to Canadians, made public to ensure accountability.
This morning the government released mandate letters for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard – and they contain some very hopeful news for nature.
The letters pledge that both ministers will work together to introduce a new ambitious plan to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s land and 25 per cent of Canada’s oceans by 2025. They will both also work towards 30 per cent of each by 2030.
The federal government will also advocate at international gatherings that countries around the world set a 30 per cent conservation goal for 2030 as well. The letter says science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives will guide in meeting the goal.
“The government just committed to the most important nature protection initiative in Canadian history,” said Nature Canada’s executive director Graham Saul, in response to the news.
“The government already showed immense leadership in meeting and surpassing the marine target. During the election, we heard from the Liberal Party that they were committed to the next phase of protecting 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.
“The clear commitment to expand protected areas in the throne speech and today’s mandate letters, as well as the focus on pursuing nature-based solutions to fight climate change, and the commitment to plant two billion trees, is great news for nature.
“The world is facing the twin crises of climate change and a mass extinction of species unlike anything since the time of the dinosaurs. Habitat loss, caused by human activity, is the leading cause of species collapse and we need urgent action.
“Canada has the longest coastline in the world, the largest intact forest on earth and a population of citizens who care deeply for our iconic species. Today’s commitments demonstrate global leadership and position Canada to be a conservation superpower,” he said.
This is exciting news for the species, outdoor spaces and nature that we love and defend here at Nature Canada. Do your part and join the Make Room for Nature campaign to ensure the government stays on track.