Nature Groups Team Up to Urge Protection of More Endangered Spaces
Nature Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and provincial and territorial nature groups have teamed up to urge Canadian governments to ramp up the establishment of protected areas to meet Canada’s international obligation to protect at least 17% of our land and inland waters by 2020.
In a February 17, 2017 letter, Canada’s nature groups congratulated federal, provincial and territorial ministers meeting on February 21-22 for committing to the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative to expand Canada’s protected areas network. These ministers have established a national steering committee chaired by Parks Canada and Alberta Parks to lead the initiative.
In the letter, we urged governments to:
- Start by implementing existing commitments and proposals to establish protected areas;
- Develop an action plan to achieve the 17% target for each province and territory as well a federally;
- Focus on the quality of protected areas to be established in terms of design, management and connectivity, as well as quantity of lands to be protected;
- Work with Indigenous governments and communities to establish Indigenous and co-managed protected areas;
- Pursue opportunities to establish protected areas that can serve as carbon sinks and serve as natural solutions enabling adaptation to global climate change; and
- Look beyond the 17% by 2020 target to scale up protection, because biodiversity in Canada needs more than the 17%.
Nature Canada is collaborating with provincial nature groups as well as CPAWS to identify specific lands and inland waters that need protection and generate public support.
Our view is that Canada will only achieve its 17% international target for protected areas if Canadians demand it, loudly and firmly.
To raise awareness on this issue, consider writing a letter to your local editor on protecting and saving our critical wilderness areas.