Budget 2021 Makes Record Investment in Nature
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON April 19, 2021 – The federal budget announced today commits around $3.2 billion to creating and expanding protected areas in Canada. This historic investment will be used to create and expand parks, Indigenous protected and conserved areas, and other protected areas to bring Canada closer to the goal of protecting 25 percent of land and water by 2025.
The government has earmarked almost $1 billion to ocean protection and has committed over $2 billion to land and freshwater protection over the next 5 years.
“These are crucial investments for nature,” says Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “We commend the tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of nature groups who called on the federal government to put nature at the heart of Canada’s recovery efforts.”
Budget 2021 solidifies the Government of Canada’s historic promise to protect 25 percent of land, freshwater and ocean by 2025. Experts in the Green Budget Coalition have shown that such an ambitious goal would need $4.8 billion over the next five years. While today’s investment doesn’t reach that threshold, Nature Canada is pleased to see the federal government injecting new resources to build momentum for this critical work.
“More will be needed to reach Canada’s targets but this moves us forward,” added Gauri Sreenivasan, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Nature Canada. “The federal government will need to work closely with Provinces, Territories and Indigenous Governments and other actors to close the resource gap.”
Indigenous-led Conservation including Guardian Programs is a crucial part of the solution. Nature Canada will be paying close attention to how this critical piece is funded. Indigenous Guardians programs support Indigenous rights and knowledge in protecting and conserving ecosystems, contribute to employment and sustainable economies, and support the profound connections between Indigenous cultures and the land.
Investments to protect carbon-rich landscapes and conserve at-risk ecosystems are important for recovering wildlife populations, carbon sequestration, human health and wellbeing, and supporting jobs and economic activity like sustainable tourism development in communities across the country. Nature Canada will continue to be a voice for Nature and ensure that nature-lovers can enjoy all Nature has to offer for generations to come.
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