Press release: Nature Canada applauds Canada Nature Fund Challenge announcement
Government of Canada Nature Fund Challenge announcement a major milestone on path to protecting Canada’s threatened natural areas
(Ottawa, Aug. 19, 2019)— Today the Canadian government took a significant and positive step towards protecting Canada’s natural areas by announcing up to $175-million for 63 conservation project over four years that will help Canada meet its international commitment to protect 17 per cent of land and water by 2020.
Hundreds of species that call Canada’s natural areas home lack the protections necessary for them to thrive, and this challenge is only getting worse with the effects of climate change and increasing development.
Nature Canada congratulates all the partners who proposed over $800 million in conservation projects as part of the Canada Nature Fund Challenge. The range and sheer number of proposed projects demonstrate that it is possible to meet and exceed Canada’s protected area commitments.
Nearly half (27 of 67) of the funded projects respond to Indigenous-led proposals for the development of protected areas, building on the deep knowledge held by Indigenous communities as stewards of their lands and waters. Supporting Indigenous-led conservation efforts is critical for Canada’s success in protecting and restoring nature.
The Canadian government has several funding streams available to support and advance nature protection. Nature Canada also welcomes the project funding announced today under the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk and the Habitat Stewardship Program.
“It is really exciting to see the government delivering on this promise to support new protected areas projects across the country,” said Graham Saul, executive director of Nature Canada. “Just as exciting is that with so many submissions still unfunded, even more is possible with additional support from the federal government.”
This progress must continue as the science shows that we need to protect much more than 17 per cent of our land and freshwater to restore and sustain healthy natural areas.
“Canadians see wilderness as a key piece of our identity. If we want future generations to enjoy being in nature and seeing wildlife, we must do as much as possible before it is too late,” said Saul. “The question we’re asking at Nature Canada is, ‘If Canada can’t make room for nature, who can?’”
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About Nature Canada
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.