Nature Canada

Nature Canada Extremely Optimistic About BC Nature Agreement Announced This Morning by Guilbeault

Momentum towards a whole-of-government National Biodiversity Strategy is growing, as federal, provincial, and Indigenous governments join hands.

Unceded Algonquin Territory Ottawa, ON November 3, 2023

This morning, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced an agreement bringing British Columbia into Canada’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. BC is the third provincial or territorial government to sign an agreement under the National Biodiversity Strategy, following the governments of Yukon and Nova Scotia.

Today’s agreement provides a framework for how the federal government, First Nations, and the provincial government will work together to protect ecosystems on land and water, with an aim to halt biodiversity loss and fully restore nature by 2050, as promised at the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework at COP15 last December.

“This is a landmark agreement,” says Akaash Maharaj, Director of Policy at Nature Canada. “It presses Canada’s commitment to protecting biodiversity from words into deeds.  As importantly, it sets a pattern of co-operative partnership between federal, provincial, and Indigenous authorities.  This agreement demonstrates that Canada’s public institutions can rise to the global challenge of halting biodiversity loss and climate change, when they summon the shared political will to act.”

Signatories to the agreement include the government of Canada, the government of British Columbia, the First Nations Leadership Council, the BC Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs as full partners.  It will set up a tripartite committee to coordinate activities under the agreement, reaffirming a shared commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and to Indigenous peoples  as leaders and full partners in conservation.

This agreement is backed by potentially over $1 billion in funding, with the government of Canada contributing up to $500 million via four funds; the Enhanced Nature Legacy Fund; the Nature SMART Climate Solutions Fund; the 2 Billion Trees Program; and the Old Growth Nature Fund. This will be matched by the Government of British Columbia.

This agreement represents a vital first step towards protecting endangered species like the spotted owl, boreal caribou, and the old growth forests they depend on. Halting the destruction of these critical habitats and restoring those that have been lost and damaged will be vital in addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, as we work towards protecting at least 30% of Canada’s marine and terrestrial environments by 2030.

Nature Canada is Canada’s voice for nature. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 175,000 members and supporters and more than 1,200 nature organizations.


For more information contact: 

Akaash Maharaj, Director of Policy
Nature Canada | (416) 995-3275

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