Nature Canada

Federal government takes significant step toward doubling protected areas

August 1, 2019


Federal government takes significant step toward doubling protected areas by 2020

Nature Canada reacts to announced marine protected areas in Iqaluit

OTTAWA (Aug. 1, 2019)—Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada made the following statement in response to today’s marine protected areas announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“This is an important milestone towards doubling Canada’s protected areas, a critical step in protecting iconic Canadian species vulnerable to habitat loss and climate change.

“The world is facing mass extinction of species unlike anything we’ve seen since the time of the dinosaurs and we need this sort of urgent action to help put an end to extinction.

“The announcement is all the more meaningful because of recent commitments to legally protect Marine Protected Areas from oil and gas exploration. We look forward to continuing to work with governments, Indigenous Peoples and other nature organizations to make room for nature.

Of separate but equal importance to the marine targets, Nature Canada looks forward to continued progress on the commitment to protect 17 per cent of land and freshwater before the end of 2020.”


  • Today’s new protected area north of Grise Fiord will push the amount of marine protected area in Canada up to more than 13 per cent, exceeding the target agreed to in 2010 as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Targets.
  • The area is known in Inuktitut as Tuvaijuittuq, which means “the ice never melts.” It provides habitat for species heavily affected by climate change and global warming.
  • The announcement demonstrates cooperation between Qikiqtani Inuit Association, the Government of Nunavut and the federal government.
  • The commitment brings Canada much closer to achieving the commitment to double protected areas in Canada by the end of 2020.
  • Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas and fostered a love of nature by connecting more Canadians to the outdoors. The organization represents a network of 95,000 supporters and more than 750 nature organizations across the country.
  • For more information visit

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Header photo by Paul Gierszewski.

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