Declaration of Support
for Ocean Protection
Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas, and countless species. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 100,000 member supporters, and nearly 1,000 nature organizations.
The Cause: 30 x 30
The ocean is a crucial carbon sink shielding us from the worst of climate change. The ocean produces over half of the world's oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. But the unrelenting impacts of habitat loss, overuse, and climate change are pushing the ocean out of balance.
Canada is in the enviable position of having the longest coastline in the world and can be a global leader in protecting and restoring the ocean.
The Canadian government made a promise to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030, through marine protected areas (MPA). Currently, only 13.8% of the ocean in Canada is protected. Action is needed to more than double the quantity, and improve the quality, of marine protected areas.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada must recognize the authority of Indigenous Peoples to steward their waters and it is important that Indigenous Peoples have the opportunity to co-govern MPAs in Canada. Across the country, Indigenous communities are leading the way and advancing their visions for marine conservation.
As more and more MPA’s are established, ocean health will continue to improve. The ocean’s ability to sustain marine wildlife and shield life on land from the impacts of climate change strengthens.
Healing our oceans through marine protected areas is our strongest and least expensive tool to fight against species collapse and conserve critical ecosystems. Protecting and restoring carbon-rich ocean ecosystems is also a nature-based method to combat climate change, which benefits us all.
We, the undersigned, support the federal government’s commitment to protecting 30 percent of Canada’s ocean territory by 2030. We ask for the federal government to ensure that this commitment recognizes and centers on Indigenous rights and the priorities of Indigenous Peoples who have been stewards of the ocean since time immemorial.