Statement From Nature Canada Executive Director Graham Saul on Release of the 2021 Ministerial Mandate Letters
Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON – Dec 16, 2021
“For the first time in history, government ministers have been tasked with halting and reversing the collapse of nature–with a clear time frame to achieve this goal by 2030. This is a game-changing recognition of the urgency of the biodiversity crisis,” says Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada.
“To act on this commitment, the government will need a clear strategy and action plan, developed with provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments. The plan must be grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge, and local perspectives.”
“At Nature Canada, we further welcome the mandates for the Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment and Climate Change to establish new national parks, national marine conservation areas and urban national parks as part of the government’s historic commitment to protect 25 percent of land and ocean by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030. Nature Canada agrees that this effort must support Indigenous-led conservation, such as Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and Guardian programs as this is essential to ensure nature’s full recovery by 2050. Establishing protected areas must center Indigenous rights and a true commitment to co-governance to support meaningful steps toward reconciliation.”
“The direction given to the Minister of Natural Resources to work with the Minister for Environment and Climate Change to protect old growth forests is also a critical forward priority. It is imperative that these two Ministers work together to review and reform Canada’s forest carbon accounting system to ensure accurate reporting of emissions from industrial logging and to incentivize the protection of climate and biodiversity critical forests”.
“We welcome the continued plan to plant 2 billion trees across the country. Greater attention must be given to how the program can truly contribute to reversing nature loss and fighting climate change by planting the right trees, in the right places, and ensuring these trees contribute to increasing permanent forest cover in Canada.”
“Nature Canada, with our supporters and partners, look forward to working with the government to ensure implementation of the ambitious nature goals outlined in ministerial mandate letters in support of an equitable, carbon-neutral, and nature-positive future.”