Nature Canada
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Press Release: Nature Canada applauds historic nature protection commitment in speech from the throne


(Ottawa, Dec. 5, 2019) Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada made the following statement in response to today’s throne speech:

“The government just committed to the most important nature protection initiative in Canadian history in today’s speech from the throne.

In 2011 Canada made a promise, based on leading biodiversity science, that we would protect 17 per cent of land and freshwater and 10 per cent of marine areas by 2020.

“The government already showed immense leadership in meeting and surpassing the marine target. During the election, we heard from the Liberal Party that they were committed to the next phase of protecting 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.

“The clear commitment to expand protected areas in today’s throne speech, as well as the focus on pursuing nature-based solutions to fight climate change, and the commitment to plant two billion trees, is great news for nature.

“The world is facing the twin crises of climate change and a mass extinction of species unlike anything since the time of the dinosaurs. Habitat loss, caused by human activity, is the leading cause of species collapse and we need urgent action.

“Canada has the longest coastline in the world, the largest intact forest on earth and a population of citizens who care deeply for our iconic species. Today’s commitments demonstrate global leadership and position Canada to be a conservation superpower.


  • More than one million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction due to human activity, according to the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released in May, 2019.
  • The current amount of protected land and freshwater in Canada is about 12 per cent. The federal government surpassed their marine protected areas target in August with the creation of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area that pushed protection over 13 per cent.
  • Last month Nature Canada joined the Green Budget Coalition in outlining specific funding recommendations in order to meet the Aichi targets, support Indigenous conservation and protect species at risk. This includes investments in Nature of $934 million in the 2020-21 federal budget, and a further $2.3 billion over the subsequent three years, as well as the creation of a $1 billion Nature Based Climate Solutions Fund over four years.
  • For more information visit

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For more information, or to set up an interview with Graham Saul, please contact:

Andrew Aziz

Communications and Digital Director

Cell: (613) 222-9410


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