Nature Canada

Nature Network Showcase: Island Nature Trust – Advocating for land protection at Nature on the Hill 2023

From March 7 to 10, Nature Canada is joining forces with nature groups across the country for Nature on the Hill—a unique and critical opportunity to ensure that parliamentarians and federal officials deliver on Canada’s bold promises to protect and restore nature.

As part of Nature Canada’s annual Nature on the Hill event, Island Nature Trust in PEI is one of the many nature groups advocating to Canadian MPs for meeting the government’s promise to protect 30 percent of Canadian land, water and ocean by 2030. As a land trust, we are first and foremost interested in protecting 30 percent of land by 2030, as well as halting and reversing biodiversity loss through protected habitat for species at risk.

About Island Nature Trust

Island Nature Trust (INT) is a non-government, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and management of natural areas on Prince Edward Island since 1979. Governed by a volunteer board of directors, INT protects lands in perpetuity and works with governments, like-minded organizations and private landowners to protect and maintain a network of natural areas and wildlife corridors across the province of Prince Edward Island.

Our Goals for Nature on the Hill

Simply put, we need more funding to reach our land protection goals. At Nature on the Hill, we will be advocating for more resources to be committed to land protection as well as for more collaboration with those provincial governments that are well below COP15 commitments for land protection. For instance, in the Maritimes the province of Prince Edward Island has a stated goal of seven percent protection by 2030. Nova Scotia is committed to 20 percent and New Brunswick just reached 10 percent. There are many reasons why these commitments are low, and 30 percent might be too difficult to reach for some provinces, but higher numbers are possible with support from the federal government.

We will also be advocating for more resources to establish and steward healthy natural areas that are resilient to major weather events and human impacts. In the fall of 2022, the province of Prince Edward Island lost a substantial amount of trees to post-tropical storm Fiona, prompting the provincial government to create an Emergency Forestry Task Force and a Forestry Commission. Building back healthy and resilient forests—a priority landscape identified by the current federal government—will be paramount to ensuring we have a diversified native forested landscape that can adapt to climate change and continue to offer the ecosystem services needed by people and wildlife alike. Nature on the Hill is a chance to protect areas for the forests that will help us withstand the effects of climate change.

Island Nature Trust is advocating for an Action Plan that…

Protects 30 percent of land and water by 2030
We need increased support and collaboration with provincial and territorial governments that are currently under-committed to help create more equitable outcomes across regions, ensuring optimized approaches to halting and reversing biodiversity loss in a larger cross section of ecosystems.

Establishes more Marine Protected Areas
The core mission of INT focusses on land protection, though we recognize that marine protected areas are just as important.

Supports Indigenous-led conservation
As a partner in conservation with the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils, we work to protect land for Pituamkek (bee-doo-um-gek), a future National Park Reserve, and collaborate on conservation projects and shared stewardship goals. We would anticipate that any increases in resources for land protection and forested landscape stewardship would automatically benefit current and future Indigenous-led work.

Fights climate change
Increased resources to protect and steward healthy forested landscapes on Prince Edward Island will result in more resilient and diverse forests that sequester and store more carbon.

You can Help!

You can help Nature Canada and our Nature Network partners like Island Land Trust to halt and reverse nature loss at Nature on the Hill by sending a letter now to the Prime Minister demanding an Action Plan that:

  • Protects 30 percent of land and water by 2030
  • Establishes more Marine Protected Areas
  • Supports Indigenous-led conservation
  • Fights climate change by planting trees and protecting carbon-rich ecosystems

Speak up now!

Want to Help?

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