Nature and wildlife: appearance before the Standing Committee (March 10, 2021)
Nature and Biodiversity Conservation
What are your top nature/biodiversity priorities?
- We know nature is in trouble and we need to act now.
- As outlined in my Mandate letter, top priorities include conserving 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, working toward 30% of each by 2030 and delivering on nature-based climate solutions in collaboration with colleagues and many partners in ways that provide benefits for biodiversity and human well-being.
- We are also continuing important work to protect biodiversity and species at risk, including by advancing the Pan-Canadian Approach to Species at Risk conservation.
- And negotiations are underway for an ambitious new post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that will help focus and mobilize action.
- Addressing the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change will be key.
Nature Legacy/the Canada Nature Fund
What is the Canada Nature Legacy and how is it advancing conservation?
- In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada made a historic investment of $1.3 billion in nature conservation known as the Nature Legacy. This is the single largest investment in conserving nature in Canadian history.
- The Nature Legacy initiative is intended to help Canada address biodiversity loss and to meet its related national and international commitments, including the protection of 17% of Canada’s land and freshwater, the conservation and recovery of species at risk and the advancement of Indigenous reconciliation.
- Work under Nature Legacy focuses on species and spaces. For example:
- On the Spaces side, a series of 68 conservation initiatives were launched in every province and territory. These projects are supported by the up to $175 million Target 1 Challenge program under the Canada Nature Fund to expand a connected network of protected and conserved areas across Canada.
- On the Species side, in 2019, 15 projects were chosen to be funded in community-nominated priority places for species at risk in key areas. These areas were selected through an open call for applications across Canada under the Canada Nature Fund. (See Annex A for full list of projects).
- Another 37 projects are being funded in partnership with provinces and territories in 11 priority places.
- The Canada Nature Fund was also used to help support the recent negotiation of the conservation agreement involving ECCC, the B.C. Government as well as the West Moberley and Saulteau First Nations to protect and recover Southern Mountain Caribou. Caribou agreements in other jurisdictions and the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for Priority Places for Protecting Species at Risk are also being supported by the Canada Nature Fund.
What is the Canada Nature Fund?
- The Canada Nature Fund is a key part of Canada’s Nature Legacy initiative. It is a $500 million federal investment to support the efforts of non-federal partners whose commitment is critical to achieving success in nature conservation.
- Under the Canada Nature Fund roughly $300 million has been set aside for terrestrial protected areas and up to $200 million for recovery of both terrestrial and aquatic species at risk.
- The Fund enables a partnership-based approach to promoting biodiversity through targeted federal investments that enhance collaboration and partnership on protected areas and species at risk. The Canada Nature Fund includes initiatives like the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Target 1 Challenge and Community Nominated Priority Places for Species at Risk.
- Canada Nature Fund contributions are matched by philanthropic foundations, corporations, not-for-profits, provinces, territories and other partners, raising a total of $1 billion for conservation action.
- (See Annex A for additional details)
What is the difference between the mandate commitment to nature-based climate solutions and to protecting 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025, working towards 30% by 2030?
- The two commitments are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
- The work on nature-based climate solutions is focused on maximizing the climate change mitigation potential of ecosystems. By undertaking activities focused on ecosystem restoration, improved land management, and avoiding land conversion for carbon-rich areas, we will significantly enhance the inherent ability of healthy ecosystems to sequester and store carbon.
- These activities will also be beneficial to wildlife, including species at risk such as caribou, and will support the resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change.
- The work to protect 25% by 2025 puts nature first by focusing on the large scale conservation or protection of landscapes in order to support biodiversity conservation. However, conserving ecosystems in the form of protected areas will also help us lock carbon in the ground, thereby acting as a safeguard against additional releases that could derail Canada’s progress on climate change mitigation.
- Actions linked to both commitments will help Canada achieve the next round of domestic biodiversity goals and targets stemming from the development of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
What is Canada doing to show leadership and raise global ambition to halt the loss of nature and biodiversity?
- Canada is advocating for an ambitious and practical post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to focus the world’s collective efforts to stem the loss of biodiversity and degradation of nature.
- Canada is working with other countries to ensure that new global biodiversity targets:
- focus on the most important direct drivers of global biodiversity loss: land-and sea-use change; direct overexploitation; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species;
- consider the important role of women, youth and Indigenous peoples as partners in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity;
- strengthen country implementation of the CBD through systems that make countries more accountable to their commitments; and
- set a global 30% conservation goal for 2030.
- In September 2020, PM Trudeau signed the Leaders Pledge for Nature, and Canada joined the “High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People” – a coalition of over 50 countries that is pushing for a 30% global conservation goal for 2030.
- Once the global framework has been approved by Parties, likely this fall, ECCC will lead work with Provinces, Territories, Indigenous representatives and others to develop Canada’s domestic plan to help meet the new global targets.
How does Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement that Canada will join the new Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosure relate to other work led by the department?
- On January 11, 2021, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will join the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosure.
- This new task force has not been established yet but is expected to be inspired by the work of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. Its focus will be on providing a framework for corporate and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature, aiding in the appraisal of nature-related risk and the redirection of global financial flows away from nature-negative outcomes and towards nature-positive outcomes.
In the context of COVID-19, and its economic impacts, does investing money in nature resonate with Canadians or will they think we are focused on the wrong things?
- This past July, a Pollara poll found that 84% of Canadians, across all regions and demographics, feel it is important that the federal government invest more to protect 30% of lands and waters by 2030.
- Canadians’ appreciation for nature has increased because of COVID-19, as we see with increased traffic to many National Parks and other natural spaces.
- In a survey by Park People of over 1,600 Canadians, 70% said they appreciate parks more since physical distancing began. This was supported by a survey of over 50 municipalities, over half of which reported an increase in park use since the pandemic hit.
Canada-U.S. relations on nature
What is the Government doing to advance the nature agenda with the United States’ new administration?
- Wildlife does not recognize borders and the conservation of shared species and ecosystems requires international joint efforts.
- Canada and the U.S. have a long history of cooperation for the conservation of nature; we can build on this history to globally demonstrate, through our collaborative action, the leadership needed to stem the loss of biodiversity.
- Ongoing early engagement with U.S. officials will ensure Canada’s nature priorities are communicated to the incoming administration, setting the stage for early identification of common interests and areas of cooperation with the new administration.
- We aim to advance the protection and conservation of natural resources and wildlife in North America, building on past work with U.S. counterparts on a variety of topics of common interest.
- We recognize a shared commitment to ambitious nature conservation, including the commitment to conserve 30% of our lands and sea by 2030, and would aim to advance Indigenous-led conservation, collaboration on the establishment and management of networks of protected and conserved areas, as well as ongoing strong protection for our shared migratory species and species at risk.
- Specific priorities include advancing the protection of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that protects their important calving ground. We are pleased that the Biden administration has expressed their support for the protection of the Refuge.
Recently, the Trump Administration undertook actions to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, which would have negatively affected species under shared management between Canada and the US – especially Porcupine Caribou. What actions have you taken to protect these species and prevent the degradation of their habitat?
- We worked very hard over the past 3 years with our domestic Indigenous and territorial government partners to make coordinated, forceful, and detailed interventions in the U.S. regulatory process.
- We believe our interventions led to process delays that resulted in leasing and a proposed geophysical exploration program being rushed through at the last minute. The leasing program is subject to 4 lawsuits (as well as the current moratorium under an Executive Order) and the geophysical exploration program will not go ahead.
- We are being strongly supportive of President Biden’s commitment to permanently protect the part of the Refuge that is now open to oil and gas leasing.
- We are also exploring if there are options to avoid being in this situation again if a future U.S. administration wants to open the area for development. (For additional background, see Annex B).
What could the new federal administration in the United States mean for international conservation efforts?
- The Biden administration has demonstrated significant ambition as it relates to nature conservation, both domestically and internationally. President Biden has committed to conserving 30% of United States of America lands and waters by 2030, framing this commitment as critical to advancing nature-based climate solutions and curbing biodiversity loss.
- President Biden also signaled a willingness to advance conservation targets among international partners, as seen in recent commitments to amplify environmental justice and critical habitat protection in South and Central America, most notably Brazil’s Amazon ecosystem.
What is the government doing to engage with Indigenous peoples in conservation?
- Since 2018, we have invested more than $100 million on Indigenous leadership in conservation. The government continues to engage with Indigenous peoples and communities while working to protect biodiversity and species at risk.
- In addition to supporting the establishment of 27 Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) and 25 IPCA planning and capacity projects across the country under the Canada Nature Fund, the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program is supporting the development of 81 on-the-ground community-based Guardians initiatives, and the Indigenous Partnerships Initiative is advancing species at risk conservation.
- The Government continues to deliver the Indigenous Partnerships Initiative, which focuses on enabling Indigenous leadership in the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada and the Species at Risk Act (SARA).
- The Initiative provides support to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to increase capacity to lead in the design and implementation of conservation measures for at-risk species and their habitat; negotiate and implement conservation agreements for the cooperative conservation of at-risk species; and support meaningful participation in the implementation of SARA.
- In 2020, relationship building with Indigenous peoples was advanced through projects that supported the urgent need to act to recover Boreal and Southern Mountain Caribou and increased capacity for the collaborative management of Polar Bear.
Protected and Conserved Areas
How much progress has Canada made towards its target to conserve 17% of terrestrial areas by 2020?
- To date, Canada has conserved 12.5% of its lands – however, current additional projections from provinces and territories show us being closer to 13.1%. We are on track to conserve 17% of Canada’s lands by 2023.
- In 2015, 10.5% of Canada’s lands and freshwater was recognized as protected. It took over 130 years to achieve that amount.
- In 2018, a historic Nature Legacy investment was made to enable the conservation of 17% of Canada’s lands and inland waters, protect and recover species at risk, and advance Indigenous reconciliation. In 2020, two years after the Nature Legacy investment, Canada has protected an additional 2% of its land and waters (close to 200,000 km2, an area almost equivalent in size to three New Brunswicks combined), a remarkable step forward.
When will Canada conserve 17% of its land and inland waters?
- Based on current projections, Canada expects to have conserved 17% of its area in 2023, to be confirmed by early 2024, once the accounting is completed by the provinces and territories and results reported in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database.
What is limiting the progress on Canada’s targets? How is the Government of Canada adjusting to overcome those issues?
- The Government of Canada and all of our partners in conservation are gaining ground, and conserving more of Canada at a faster pace than ever.
- However, conservation is challenging work; it begins with engaging communities and others who have an interest in the land about the values people wish to protect.
- Feasibility assessments as well as ecological, social and economic analyses need to be conducted to help determine the boundaries of conserved areas, and inform how areas will be governed and managed.
- The reality of COVID-19 has also slowed down some of the work as engagement sessions have moved on-line and field work had to follow strict guidelines to reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission. The Government of Canada is doing its part by continuing to fund critical conservation work led by partners, as well as continuing to make progress on establishing new federal protected and conserved areas.
25 per cent by 2025
If we will take longer to reach the 17% target, why has the Government of Canada committed to additional land conservation and protection goals of 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030?
- Canada’s conservation goals are well supported by the countless studies that show that nature is at risk in Canada and abroad.
- Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate. One eighth of animal and plant species worldwide are threatened with extinction, many within decades. In Canada, we have lost 99% of tallgrass prairie, 70% of prairie wetlands, and 80% of Carolinian Forests. Canada’s grasslands alone have lost 300 million birds – 2 out of every 3 – over the last 50 years. Biodiversity loss presents serious risks to human health and prosperity.
- Protected and conserved areas are an essential tool for curbing biodiversity loss. We need to invest in protection now as it takes time to establish protected areas. We started making real progress in 2018 under Canada’s Nature Legacy, including the Canada Nature Fund.
- We continue to build on that momentum, and continue to invest in our own conservation actions and those of our partners – provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industry, landowners, and community organizations. We will further develop our relationships and partnerships to continue protecting habitat across the country on our way to the even more ambitious target of 30% conserved by 2030.
When will the Government unveil its plan to protect 25% by 2025?
- The Government is working on a plan to conserve 25% of Canada’s land and 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025, and working toward 30 per cent of each by 2030. This commitment was reaffirmed in the Speech from the Throne in late September 2020.
- The plan will take into account science, Indigenous knowledge and the views of provinces, territories, industry, non-government conservation organizations and local perspectives.
Has the department been consulting to inform the plan to protect 25%?
- The mandate letter of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change states that the plan to 25% and beyond should be “grounded in science, Indigenous knowledge and local perspectives.”
- To inform the development of the plan, the department has been consulting provinces and territories, National Indigenous Organizations, Indigenous leaders, ENGOs, academia, industry sectors and conservation leaders.
- Comments have highlighted the importance of federal action, such as leading by example to create new federal protected areas. We know that funding to incent provinces and territories to conserve more nature will be necessary, in particular given the impacts of COVID-19.
- We are hearing that partnerships are essential for significant progress and that multi-partner collaboration fora are important.
- Provinces and territories are essential partners given their authority over 80% of Canada’s lands;
- Indigenous organizations, nations and communities have expressed deep interest, and shown effective leadership in the roles and responsibilities of conservation and stewardship;
- The department has also been engaging with the private sector, which has a tremendous opportunity to contribute to conserving Canada’s nature.
How will you persuade provinces and territories to support this work if none of them have a 25% mandate?
- Provinces and territories are critical partners. They share our interest in conserving nature, and have achieved great things.
- In British Columbia, the current conservation level is at approximately 20% of terrestrial areas and inland waters. Quebec recently announced it reached its goal of protecting 17% of its land and maritime territory. Nova Scotia recently announced it would achieve its goal of protecting 13% of its land.
- Collaboration with provinces and territories is needed to make progress on the 25% target. Many have signaled that they are open to advancing working on protected areas provided that co-benefits of interest to them, most notably species at risk, can also be addressed.
Is the federal government footing the whole bill? How can the private sector do more?
- Federal leadership is an essential element to any pan-Canadian initiative. The federal government fulfills this role through the establishment of National Parks and National Wildlife Areas, providing funding to incent and enable partners to take more action, and by convening fora to develop and share best practices and set national standards.
- Conserving 25% of Canada and building a foundation to conserve 30% by 2030 is a huge task that cannot be accomplished with federal funding alone.
- Private foundations, which have already provided over $1 billion over the past decade, reaffirmed their commitment in a September 2020 letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Ministers Freeland, Jordan and Wilkinson, to continue and even enhance this level of support.
- We continue to explore innovative ways to bring more funding and more funders to the table. Our broad aim is to make it easier for individuals and organizations of all kinds to invest in nature.
Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas
Several Indigenous groups have announced that they are working toward creating an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). What is an IPCA?
- Up to 27 Indigenous protected and conserved areas are expected to be established under the Canada Nature Fund’s Target 1 Challenge.
- An IPCA can be a protected and conserved area where its design, establishment, and ongoing management reflect and are guided by Indigenous interests and leadership.
- Definitions and characteristics of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas may vary by the location, jurisdiction, and people involved. Essential elements of an IPCA are that they are co-managed or Indigenous-led, that they are involved in a long-term commitment to the conservation of lands and/or waters for future generations, and that they highlight Indigenous rights and responsibilities to the land.
In several provinces and territories there is currently no process or mechanism to create Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). What is the federal government doing to change this?
- As a funder, Environment and Climate Change Canada supports the creation of new protected and conserved areas in the country through the Canada Nature Fund. Additionally, the department is working with provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, foundations, and environmental organizations through collaborative fora to help advance IPCAs.
- For initiatives funded under the Canada Nature Fund-Target 1 Challenge, project leaders from Indigenous communities and organizations, provinces, territories, and other eligible recipients determine the path forward for these projects, in collaboration with their partners.
- Final decisions on the recognition of lands and inland waters on provincial/territorial crown lands and Indigenous lands rests with those governments.
Concerns have been raised by different resource industry groups about the creation of IPCAs and lack of consultation with them.
- ECCC plays a variety of different roles in the conservation and protected area space, roles like funder, facilitator, regulator and advisor among others.
- When acting as a funder and advisor (e.g. Target 1 Challenge under the Canada Nature Fund), ECCC does not lead or ‘own’ projects on provincial, territorial or Indigenous lands. The projects are managed, organized and administered by the recipients at the local and regional level. Each project will have different stakeholders, and it is up to the recipients to manage the consultation process and connect with all relevant parties.
Area-based conservation under the Canada Nature Fund
What is the Target 1 Challenge component of the Canada Nature Fund?
- As part of the Canada Nature Fund, the Target 1 Challenge supports the establishment of new protected and conserved areas across Canada and thus the conservation of Canada’s ecosystems, landscapes and biodiversity, including species at risk.
- Through the Target 1 Challenge, Environment and Climate Change Canada works with provinces and territories, Indigenous people and the private and non-profit sectors to achieve significant progress on terrestrial elements of Target 1 of Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets.
- The Challenge component will also support the enhancement of the ecological integrity and connectivity of Canada’s network of protected and conserved areas. 68 projects received funding through the Target 1 Challenge component, including 42 projects that are expected to lead to the establishment of protected and/or conserved areas by 2023, and 26 projects that received funding to support early planning activities for future protected and/or conserved areas establishment. The Challenge component is also funding the development and establishment of up to 27 Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas to support reconciliation efforts.
How many land conservation projects were funded under the Canada Nature Fund and how many of those have been completed?
- For the Canada Nature Fund Target 1 Challenge, a call for proposals yielded over 140 submissions from across the country with a collective value of over $800 million. After undergoing a rigorous review, 68 of those projects were selected to receive funding starting in 2019.
- The majority of the funded projects are listed on the Canada Nature Fund website. Even more projects have received support through the $100 million Natural Heritage Conservation Program. All projects are currently in progress.
Can you provide some examples of new protected areas established since the Nature Legacy funding?
- The Government of Canada’s historic $1.35 billion investment in Canada’s Nature Legacy in 2018 led to several conservation advancements in Canada both in terms of area protected and in improving our ability to make evidenced-based land use decisions.
- New areas protected include the first official Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in Canada, Edéhzhíe Dehcho Protected Area in the Northwest Territories, and the first area recognized as an ‘Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure’ in Canada, on a military base in Shilo, Manitoba. Provinces and territories also designated an additional 37,835km2 of provincial and territorial parks during that time.
- Indigenous-owned lands managed for conservation were entered into Canada’s Protected and Conserved Areas Database adding 39,181 km2 to Canada’s total area protected. The recognition and inclusion of other effective conservation areas added another 38,673 km2.
What new protected and conserved areas has ECCC established?
- ECCC establishes National Wildlife Areas and other conservation areas in key biodiversity hotspots. The unique purpose of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Protected Areas Program is to protect habitat essential for the recovery of species at risk and the conservation of migratory birds.
- Budget 2018 (Nature Legacy) directed significant new incremental resources to ECCC for the management and expansion of National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, consistent with the previous (2015) Mandate Letter commitments of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
- We have made significant progress:
- Edéhzhíe is an excellent example of the first Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) established using funds from the Canada Nature Fund. The Dehcho First Nations declared Edéhzhíe as a Dehcho protected area in 2018 and we anticipate that it will also be designated as a National Wildlife Area in 2021.
- Other examples, generally outside of the Canada Nature Fund, ECCC concluded a land exchange agreement with Saskatchewan and acquired the former pastures of Govenlock, Nashlyn, and Battle Creek which ECCC will manage for conservation purposes.
How has COVID-19 affected progress towards Canada’s ambitious conservation targets?
- The reality of COVID-19 has slowed down some of the work on the Canada Nature Fund Target 1 Challenge projects that are establishing new protected and conserved areas.
- Some in-person engagement sessions have been moved on-line and there have been delays in fieldwork as new physical distancing guidelines need to be integrated into work plans.
- Some organizations are really struggling with fundraising to support their conservation work.
- There are limited resources and competing priorities for those resources. In some areas the people who do the conservation work have had to be re-deployed to other duties as a result of COVID-19 response activities.
Annex: Projects funded under the Target 1 Challenge
|Project Name||Project Description||Recipient||Province or Territory||Funding Provided||Expected up to Gains (ha)|
|Qat'muk: developing an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the central Purcell Mountains (Establishment)||The Ktunaxa Nation Council Society is developing a proposal for a Ktunaxa Nation Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area to protect Ktunaxa cultural, biodiversity and other ecosystem values.||Ktunaxa Nation Council Society||BC||$16,102,916||211,045|
|Establishing Tahltan Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas through the Tahltan Nation Land Use Planning Process (Establishment)||The Tahltan Central Government is working toward identifying and protecting land that has significant cultural, ecological and sustenance value for Tahltan People through the Tahltan Land Use Planning process.||Tahltan Central Government||BC||$3,998,760||291,380|
|Tlatsini The Places That Make Us Strong Taku River Tlingit First Nation Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (Preliminary work)||This project will support the Taku River Tlingit in capacity building and engagement to explore conservation opportunities within their traditional territory including the Taku, Whiting, and Yukon River Watersheds that encompass enormous areas of Boreal Forest and wetland habitat.||Taku River Tlingit First Nation||BC||$387,500||0|
|Kaska Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (Preliminary work)||This project will allow the Dena Kayeh Institute to build capacity to assess stewardship opportunities for the areas between the edge of the Boreal Plains on the east to the Cassiar and Omineca Mountains on the west, encompassing a vast area of forested wilderness that includes overlap with the ranges of seven Northern Mountain Caribou herds.||Dena Kayeh Institute||BC||$587,500||0|
|Métis Settlements Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Initiative (Establishment)||The Métis Settlements General Council will work to conserve land in the vicinities of Wolf Lake, Touchwood Lake, and North Buck Lake. Their work will protect habitats for species at risk including the Woodland Caribou and Grizzly Bear.||Métis Settlements General Council||AB||$1,396,783||50,000|
|Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Park – Phase 2 Expansion (Establishment)||The Mikisew Cree First Nation will work with the province, industry, and land owners to expand the existing Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Provincial Park in Alberta.||Mikisew Cree First Nation||AB||$5,350,000||149,814|
|Métis Nation of Alberta Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (Preliminary work)||This project will help the Métis Nation of Alberta build capacity to create new protected areas through establishing partnerships and conducting land monitoring and research activities to establish protected areas in the future.||Métis Nation of Alberta||AB||$525,000||0|
|Métis Settlements Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Initiative (Establishment)||The Métis Settlements General Council will work to conserve land in the vicinities of Wolf Lake, Touchwood Lake, and North Buck Lake. Their work will protect habitats for species at risk including the Woodland Caribou and Grizzly Bear.||Métis Settlements General Council||AB||$1,396,783||50,000|
|Accelerating Saskatchewan’s Commitments to Target 1 (Establishment)||The Government of Saskatchewan will create new protected areas in Selwyn Lake Upland and Tazin Lake Upland Ecoregions as well as expand one protected area in the Mid-boreal Lowlands (Lobstick Lake).||Government of Saskatchewan||SK||$427,209||627,211|
|A Collaborative Approach to Developing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Athabasca Dënesuliné Nuhenéné (Establishment)||In partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, the Ya'thi Néné will work with neighbouring Athabasca Dene First Nations and communities to protect up to 600,000 ha by establishing Indigenous Protected Areas in the traditional territory of Nuhenene.||Ya'thi Néné Land and Resource Office||SK||$3,000,000||240,959|
|The Sakitawak Conservation Area: Multi-Interest Protection and Conservation in Trapping Block N-14, Saskatchewan, Canada (Preliminary work)||A La Baie Metis Local 21 will build capacity and conduct planning for future potential protection of habitats of vulnerable species and to promote sustainable development practices, and advance Indigenous way of life, knowledge systems and stewardship activities.||A La Baie Metis Local 21||SK||$525,000||0|
|Saskatchewan River Delta - A Collaborative Approach to Expanding Protected Areas and Multi-Species Conservation in Northern Saskatchewan (Preliminary work)||This project will support the Saskatchewan River Community Development Corporation undertake research and build capacity to establish a conservation area near Cumberland House, SK.||Saskatchewan River Community Development Corporation||SK||$225,000||0|
|Manitoba Mixed-grass Prairie Securement Program (Establishment)||The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation will protect up to 27,000 hectares of undeveloped mixed-grass prairie habitat adjacent to three community pastures and maintain the biodiversity of the mixed-grass prairie though managed grazing.||Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC)||MB||$405,948||27,000|
|Seal River Watershed Indigenous Protected Area Initiative (Establishment)||The Sayisi Dene First Nation will work with local First Nations to develop permanent protection of the Seal River Watershed as an Indigenous Protected Area.||Sayisi Dene First Nation||MB||$3,172,881||5,000,000|
|Nitaskiinan: Planning to Protect our Hudson Bay Coastal Lands (Establishment)||The York Factory First Nation aim to establish a new Indigenous Protected Area. They will engage the Government of Manitoba, Fox Lake Cree Nation, Tataskweyak Creen Nation, War Lake First Nation and Shamattawa First Nation in discussions about protection and management of 4,660,900 hectares bordering the Hudson Bay.||York Factory First Nation||MB||$728,447||100,000|
|Aski Pahminahmaswin – Tataskweyak Cree Nation Indigenous Protected Area (Preliminary work)||The Tataskweyak Cree Nation Lands Department and community will work to identify key areas for future Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and land stewardship in the central and northern portions of their traditional territory.||Tataskweyak Cree Nation||MB||$387,500||0|
|Fisher River Cree Nation Conservation Areas Initiative (Preliminary work)||The Fisher River Cree Nation to work towards determining protected area boundaries and reducing barriers towards the establishment of a network of Indigenous led protected areas within the Fisher River Cree Nation traditional lands.||Fisher River Cree Nation||MB||$225,000||0|
|Chitek Lake Anishinaabe Provincial Park Expansion (Preliminary work)||The Skownan First Nation will work towards the eventual expansion of Chitek Lake Anishinaabe Provincial Park through the establishment of a management board and an Indigenous-led monitoring program.||Skownan First Nation||MB||$225,000||0|
|Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and Land Guardians - Phase 2 (Preliminary work)||The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Lands, Environment & Resources will initiate the next steps of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas planning with a specific focus on the Leftrook (Wapasihk) Lake (Sakahukun) Watershed Management Plan and monitoring activities related to data collection.||NCN Lands, Environment & Resources||MB||$387,500||0|
|Manitoba's Caribou River Provincial Park to Wapusk National Park (Preliminary work)||The Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. will work towards the establishment of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the area between Caribou River Provincial Park and Wapusk National Park.||Manitoba Métis Federation Inc.||MB||$437,000||0|
|Lenswood Kettle Hills Blueberry Patch Manitoba (Preliminary work)||The Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. will work towards the establishment of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the Kettle Hills area of Manitoba.||Manitoba Métis Federation Inc.||MB||$437,000||0|
|Shawanaga Island Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (Establishment)||The Shawanaga First Nation will establish an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area to conserve important species, protect food security, facilitate understanding of and respect for Indigenous way of life, and to support development of conservation economies.||Shawanaga First Nation||ON||$1,000,000||1,020|
|Establishing a First Nation Protected Area in the North French River Watershed (Preliminary work)||The Moose Cree First Nation will explore the feasibility of establishing a First Nations protected area in the North French River Watershed.||Moose Cree First Nation||ON||$225,000||0|
|Establishing an Indigenous Protected Area in the Fawn River Watershed (Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug homeland) (Preliminary work)||The Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation explore the potential establishment of an Indigenous Protected Area in the Fawn River Watershed located in the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug Homeland.||Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation||ON||$387,500||0|
|Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek Protected Area (Preliminary work)||The Grassy Narrows First Nation will explore the feasibility of establishing the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (ANA) lndigenous Protected and Conserved Area within their Traditional Territory.||Grassy Narrows First Nation||ON||$500,000||0|
|Southern Ontario Nature Coalition Protecting Nature and People (Preliminary work)||The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and partners will identify options to establish protected and conserved areas that address the unique challenges of peri- urban locations in and adjacent to the Greenbelt, support ecological connections and improve management of peri-urban natural areas.||Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation||ON||$400,000||0|
|Establishing and co-managing a network of new protected areas based on areas of importance to the Crees of Eeyou Istchee (Establishment)||The Cree Nation Government aims to ensure full Cree participation in the creation of a network of protected areas on the Cree Eeyou Istchee lands. This network is designed to be hydrologically connected and will increase connectivity between existing protected areas as well as protect habitats for species at risk and culturally significant species including herds of Woodland Caribou.||Cree Nation Government||QC||$5,435,231||6,564,436|
|Conducting public consultations, a key step in the creation of nine new protected areas in Nunavik (Quebec) and the achievement of consensual conservation objectives (Establishment)||The Kativik Regional Government will mobilize stakeholders in Nunavik, Kawawachikamach and Whapmagoostui to undertake community consultation as part of the process of creating nine proposed protected areas covering an area of 2,980,000 ha by the Government of Quebec in Nunavik. This project will ensure a strong community involvement and is an essential step in the process that will allow the nine consensual territories to pass from a temporary administrative protection to a legal status of biodiversity reserve under the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.||Kativik Regional Government||QC||$1,250,000||2,978,500|
|Protection Mutehekau Shipu / Rivière Magpie (Establishment)||The Conseil des Innu de Ekuanitshit will pursue official recognition and protection of an area comprising the entire Magpie River and a significant part of its watershed. While much of the Innu of Ekuanitshit’s history and memories inhabits this area, the project will also allow the documentation of Innu values and traditional and ecological knowledge on the territory.||Conseil des Innu de Ekuanitshit||QC||$588,239||263,000|
|Protection of Pipmuacan by the Première Nation innue de Pessamit (Establishment)||The Conseil des Innus de Pessamit aims at creating a protected area in the Pipmuacan area that will help protect Innu culture and heritage, as well as Boreal Caribou and its habitat.||Conseil des Innu de Pessamit||QC||$331,760||389,500|
|From Anticosti to Nunavik: together for protected areas (Establishment)||The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) – Quebec branch will contribute to the creation process of three new protected areas in the regions of Bas Saint-Laurent, Lotbinière, and Anticosti Island.||CPAWS (SNAP)-Québec||QC||$273,000||211,400|
|Ya'nienhonhndeh protected area (Establishment)||The Conseil de la Nation huronne-wendat will take part in the process of officially recognizing the Ya'nienhonhndeh protected area of approximately 71,000 ha. This territory contains the last virgin forest of the Nation’s traditional territory, the Nionwentsïo, and is also the area in the Nionwentsïo with the highest concentration of intact Huron-Wendat heritage sites.||Conseil de la Nation huronne-wendat||QC||$538,736||71,100|
|Masko Cimakanic Askic (Preliminary work)||Supporting an initiative from a Wemotaci family, the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw is working toward an Indigenous Protected Area to restore living environment, insure social well-being and reinforce traditional land system. Masko Cimakanic Aski is part of the ancestral land called Nitaskinan and represents a traditional family territory.||Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw||QC||$225,000||33,520|
|Protection of Cambrian Lake, Nachicapau Lake and Fort McKenzie (Waskaikinis) Areas (Preliminary work)||The Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach aims to do the groundwork for the protection of the biodiversity and Indigenous cultural use of the Cambrian Lake area and the Nachicapau Lake area.||Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach||QC||$400,000||0|
|Pathway to Canada Target 1: Outaouais takes action to reach 17% (Preliminary work)||This project will result in planning activities within the creation process of a protected area by the Government of Quebec. The protected area proposed by the CREDDO and CPAWS within the project would obtain a permanent legal status and targets a territory of more than 115,000 ha in the Noire and Coulonge River Watersheds.||Conseil Régional de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO)||QC||$300,000||30,300|
|Protecting Species, Habitats, Ecosystems and Enduring Features across Ecological Regions in New Brunswick (Establishment)||The Government of New Brunswick will work with First Nations and partners to double the amount of protected area across New Brunswick's ecozones.||Government of New Brunswick, Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development||NB||$9,227,692||22,600|
|Reconciliation & Stewardship through Land Conservation in Mi’gmaq Traditional Territory of Fort Folly First Nation and the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve (Establishment)||This project will establish a network of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) that represent and reflect the cultural and ecological values of Fort Folly First Nation in and around Dorchester, Elgin and Alma, New Brunswick.||Fort Folly First Nation||NB||$1,000,000||3,500|
|Establishing the Skutik Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in New Brunswick, Canada (Establishment)||The Passamaquoddy will work with the Province of New Brunswick and other stakeholders to develop an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) along the Skutik/St. Croix River in the traditional territory in New Brunswick of the Peskotomuhkati Nation.||Passamaquoddy Recognition Group Inc.||NB||$1,000,000||3,650|
|New Brunswick Mi'gmaq Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Proposal (Establishment)||This project will identify areas of conservation priority for eight Migmaw communities in New Brunswick represented by Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc. (MTI). Working with partners such as the Province of New Brunswick, Parks Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Nature Trust of New Brunswick, MTI will establish Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas throughout Mi’gmaq Territory in New Brunswick.||Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc.||NB||$1,000,000||2,730|
|Wolustokwiyik/Maliseet Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (WMIPCA) (Establishment)||The Maliseet Nation Conservation Council will work to establish Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) with the goal of developing connectivity within the Saint John River Basin, the traditional territory of Wolastoqiyik People in New Brunswick||Maliseet Nation Conservation Council||NB||$600,000||2,500|
|Advancing Target 1 in Nova Scotia – A Collaborative Conservation Approach (Establishment)||This project will work to advance a well-connected network of protected and conserved areas in Nova Scotia. The activities will take place throughout Nova Scotia on priority lands and protect land through a combination of Provincial Crown land, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs), and private land securement.||Nova Scotia Environment||NS||$14,300,000||36,332|
|Expansion and Improvement of the Protected and Conserved Areas Network on Prince Edward Island (Establishment)||The Government of Prince Edward Island will conserve approximately 4,400 hectares of high-priority areas and habitats, including PEI’s forests and wetlands, and will expand upon existing protected areas and establish new conserved areas in the province. This will have numerous benefits for species at risk including the Common Nighthawk, the Canada Warbler, and the Rusty Blackbird.||Government of Prince Edward Island||PEI||$1,450,000||4,440|
|Creating Indigenous Protected Areas within the Traditional Territory of Miawpukek First Nation (Preliminary work)||This project will conduct capacity building activities to support Miawpukek First Nation’s ability to make recommendations to the Province on the establishment of new protected and conserved areas on the island of Newfoundland, in the Boreal Shield Ecozone.||Miawpukek First Nation||NL||$300,000||0|
|Innu Parks Project / Minashkuau Kanakutuataku (Preliminary work)||This project will facilitate the building of capacity within Innu Nation to enable it to make recommendations to governments on and engage with the Province to support habitat protection for species at risk in Labrador, including the Peregrine Falcon and the Wolverine.||Innu Nation||NL||$225,000||0|
|Inuit Protected and Conserved Area for Arqvilliit (Ottawa Islands) Nunavik (Establishment)||The community of Inukjuak Nunavik aims to create a 24,000 ha lndigenous Protected and Conserved Area for Arqvilliit (Ottawa Islands). Arqvilliit has always been occupied by Nunavik Inuit since time immemorial. This project will protect habitats for species at risk including the Polar Bear, a culturally significant species for the Inuit. The protection of Arqvilliit is an important step towards reconciliation with Nunavik Inuit by recognizing and respecting their way of life and the animals on which they rely for their health, culture and livelihood.||Inukjuak Local Nunavimmi Umajulivijiit Katujiqatigininga (LNUK) and Northern Village (NV) of Inukjuak||NU||$1,630,400||24,000|
|Qikiqtait: The Belcher Islands Archipelago Protected and Conserved Area (Establishment)||The Arctic Eider Society will explore the potential of creating “Qikiqtait” a community-driven protected and conserved area for the Belcher Islands Archipelago (potential of 323,800 hectares in total).||The Arctic Eider Society||NU||$5,608,125||255,000|
|Conservation Measures on Inuit Owned Lands (Establishment)||The Qikiqtani Inuit Association will increase the Bathurst Island protected lands (by 225,644 ha) for conserving Peary Caribou. They will also determine preliminary management options of 638,032 ha of Inuit-owned lands and investigate the creation of Inuit Protected and Conserved Areas.||Qikiqtani Inuit Association||NU||$651,250||690,941|
|Establish the Aviqtuuq Inuit Protected and Conserved Area (Preliminary work)||Spence Bay Hunter and Trapper Association will enable collaborative planning and negotiations on a potential Aviqtuuq Inuit Protected and Conserved Area to protect the Boothia Peninsula in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut.||Spence Bay Hunters and Trapper Association||NU||$487,500||0|
|Proposed Agguttinni Territorial Park (Establishment)||The Government of Nunavut will work to create a new protected area in Agguttinni on Inuit- owned lands. The new territorial park will protect critical habitat for several species at risk, important wildlife habitats and cultural sites currently valued for harvesting, camping and travel.||Government of Nunavut||NU||$4,740,000||1,646,500|
|Identification and Conservation of Traditional Lands as OECMs through Tlicho Government Land Use Plan Review Process (Establishment)||The Tłı̨chǫ Government will undertake a review of the ‘Land Use Protection Zones’ in the Tłı̨chǫ Land Use Plan, to focus on the Gowhadõ Yek’e t’ii k’e (Traditional Use Zone) 5,521 km2 and Tłı̨chǫ Nawoo Ké Dét’ahot’ìı (Cultural Heritage Zone) 16,658 km2. This project will help align Land Use Zones with the land use and land protection goals of the Tłı̨chǫ.||Tłı̨chǫ Government||NWT||$2,000,000||2,217,900|
|Thaidene Nëné Indigenous and Territorial Protected Area Establishment||The Government of the Northwest Territories has established Thaidene Nëné as a territorial protected area under the Northwest Territories Protected Areas Act in partnership with several NWT Indigenous governments. It will also complete the creation of a Conservation Area under the Northwest Territories Wildlife Act in 2021. Thaidene Nëné will result in protection of biodiversity, ecological integrity and cultural continuity.||Government of the Northwest Territories||NWT||$5,800,000||611,000|
|Thaidene Nëné Establishment||The Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation has established the Thaidene Nëné Protected Areas, in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada. The Thaidene Nene Protected Areas includes a National Park Reserve, a Territorial Protected Area and will include a Conservation Area that will contribute a total of 2,630,000 ha in new, permanently protected areas.||Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation||NWT||$2,157,000||611,000|
|Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta Indigenous and Territorial Protected Area Establishment||The Government of the Northwest Territories will establish Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta as a territorial protected area designated under the NWT Protected Areas Act.||Government of the Northwest Territories||NWT||$2,785,800||503,000|
|Ts’udé Niliné Tuyeta Indigenous and Territorial Protected Area Establishment||The Yamoga Land Corporation to establish management of Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta as both an Indigenous protected area under K’asho Got’ine Law and a territorial protected area designated under the NWT Protected Areas Act.||Yamoga Land Corporation||NWT||$3,434,000||503,000|
|Dinàgà Wek’èhodì Indigenous and Territorial Protected Area Establishment||The Government of the Northwest Territories is working towards establishing Dinàgà Wek'èhodì as a territorial protected area designated under the Northwest Terrritories Protected Areas Act in partnership with the Tłı̨chǫ Government, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, the North Slave Métis Alliance and the Wek'èezhìi-Renewable Resources Board.||Government of the Northwest Territories||NWT||$2,675,000||35,000|
|Dinàgà Wek’èhodì Indigenous and Territorial Protected Area Establishment||The Tłı̨chǫ Government is working towards establishing Dinàgà Wek'èhodì as a territorial protected area designated under the Northwest Terrritories Protected Areas Act in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the Northwest Territory Métis Nation, the North Slave Métis Alliance and the Wek'eezhie Renewable Resource Board.||Tłı̨ chǫ Government||NWT||$2,750,000||35,000|
|Sahtu K'aowe Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (Preliminary work)||The Del’ine Got’ine Government will review and propose amendments of zones 23-25 under the Sahtu Land Use Plan to align this area with IUCN category IV of conservation. They will research and determine the land management tool to be used for the areas, and seek partnerships in order to protect Great Bear Lake as a water body.||Del’ine Got’ine Government||NWT||$887,500||0|
|Developing a Conservation Designation for the Eastern Yukon North Slope within the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Program Framework (Establishment)||The Wildlife Management Advisory Council will facilitate the negotiation of an Establishment Agreement for the Eastern Yukon North Slope as an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area.||Wildlife Management Advisory Council||YU||$418,800||840,000|
|Peel Watershed Land Use Plan (Establishment)||The Government of Yukon will work with four First Nations to designate approximately 3,897,400 ha of protected areas in the Peel Watershed Planning Region.||Government of Yukon||YU||$1,201,000||3,800,100|
|Tu Lidilini and Ni'o Ne P'ene' Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (Preliminary work)||The Ross River Dena Council will acquire support from the Yukon Government for a delineated Indigenous and Protected Conserved Area.||Ross River Dena Council||YU||$150,000||0|
|Liard First Nation Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area Network of Protected Areas in Southeast Yukon (Preliminary work)||The Liard First Nation will identify areas of cultural, heritage and high conservation value, and negotiate with government and other First Nations for the development of a regional land use planning process.||Liard First Nation||YU||$225,000||0|
|Ninä`nkäk hozo wëk’ä`tr’ë`no`hcha: Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Land Stewardship Framework (Preliminary work)||The Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Government will work with the Yukon Government and three First Nations to designate protected areas within the Peel Watershed Planning Region.||Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Government||YU||$887,500||0|
|Yukon River Shaheenx' Southern Lakes Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area Network (Preliminary work)||The Kwanlin Dün First Nation will support the Southern Lakes How We Walk With The Land and Water Indigenous land relationship planning process.||Kwanlin Dün First Nation||YU||$387,500||0|
Species at Risk
What is the Government doing to support species at risk?
- Our government has demonstrated a very strong commitment to nature and biodiversity conservation to achieve better outcomes for species at risk.
- In collaboration with the provinces and territories, the Government of Canada is investing and implementing the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation (Pan-Canadian Approach) in Canada.
- Key to our success is a shift from a single-species approach to conservation to one that focuses on multiple species and ecosystem-based approaches. We have identified and confirmed a set of shared priorities for priority places, species, sectors and threats.
- The federal Canada Nature Fund committed up to $155 million over five years for various funding initiatives to help with the protection, and recovery of species at risk and $55 million over five years for aquatic species at risk (DFO-led).
- In 2019-20, Parks Canada allocated approximately $2.5M to projects that initiated more than 60 actions identified in Species at Risk action plans.
What progress has been made on your mandate commitment to evaluate the effectiveness of the Species at Risk Act and the need for its modernization?
- As per the Minister’s 2019 specific mandate commitment related to species at risk, the Government of Canada is committed to advancing new policy and program approaches, and using them as the basis for evaluating the effectiveness of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the need for its modernization.
- The overarching goal is to continue to advance collaborative outcomes for protecting and recovering species at risk through advancing the delivery of the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada, and by building support for implementing further improvements to the Species at Risk program by engaging provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the general public.
- This approach is starting to yield better results, particularly through the implementation of collaborative stewardship-based arrangements in the six priority species. To date, twelve conservation agreements under the Species at Risk Act have been finalized or are in negotiation for three priority species (Southern Mountain Caribou, Boreal Caribou and Wood Bison) with provinces, territories, and Indigenous peoples.
- Ongoing collaborative conservation planning arrangements with partners, including Indigenous peoples and multi-partner tables, will also further ensure implementation of high-priority conservation measures for each priority species.
- In addition, across the 11 federal-provincial-territorial Priority Places established through the Pan-Canadian Approach, partners and stakeholders were engaged, governance frameworks were established, multi-species and ecosystem-based conservation action planning was advanced, and early actions were implemented.
- A suite of 15 complementary Community-Nominated Priority Places was established through an open call for proposals to support multi-partner initiatives in priority places where there are opportunities to protect and recover species at risk and their habitat.
- Policy and program improvements to advance transformation are being explored, including seeking feedback from provincial and territorial partners.
What is the Government doing for Wood Bison?
- In December 2019, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change formed the opinion that wood bison are facing imminent threats to their recovery due to the presence of disease, unregulated hunting and range loss.
- ECCC and Parks Canada continue to advance collaborative work with various partners, including the Government of Alberta, to address imminent threats facing the Wabasca and Ronald Lake herds in Alberta.
- Wood bison have long held cultural significance to Indigenous peoples, and Canada will also advance work with Indigenous peoples to address imminent threats.
- This collaborative approach will contribute to positive recovery outcomes for wood bison.
What is the current approach to address the petition requesting an emergency order for the Spotted Owl?
- On October 14, 2020, the Minister received requests from environmental and Indigenous partners to give immediate attention to the last remaining wild Spotted Owls in B.C. – and, in particular, to recommend that the Governor in Council issue an emergency protection order under the Species at Risk Act.
- Canada and B.C. have agreed to a two-pronged plan that will address the threats faced by the last remaining Spotted Owls in the near-term, and provide the structure for broader federal-provincial species conservation cooperation, including on Spotted Owl, over the longer term.
- Specifically, the province has agreed to issue a temporary deferral of logging and logging-related activities in the Spuzzum and Utzlius Creek watersheds.
- During this deferral period, the two parties will negotiate the conclusion of a broader bilateral nature agreement, under which specific provisions for Spotted Owl will be included.
- These provisions will include measures such as completion of an updated recovery strategy for Spotted Owl, as well as a strategy for the reintroduction of captive Spotted Owls to the wild.
- They will also include emphasis on the B.C.’s ongoing and important Spotted Owl competitor eradication program.
- As part of our commitments to reconciliation, Canada and B.C. will continue to work with Indigenous peoples as a part of these efforts.
What is the Government doing for caribou?
- Caribou are of great importance in Canada both ecological and culturally, including for many Indigenous peoples.
- Canada is working in cooperation with provinces, territories, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and Indigenous peoples to implement actions to protect caribou and their habitat and to achieve positive conservation outcomes.
- The Government of Canada believes that a cooperative approach represents the best path forward for the conservation and recovery of at-risk caribou species in Canada given that provinces and territories have the primary responsibility to manage lands and wildlife on non-federal land.
- In June 2018, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers agreed to the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada, focusing conservation efforts on six priority species, including four caribou species (Boreal Caribou, Southern Mountain Caribou, Peary Caribou and Barren-ground Caribou).
- Through contribution agreements under the Species at Risk Act, $23.8M of federal funding has been invested under the Priority Species Initiative alongside provincial, territorial, Indigenous and stakeholder contributions of $22.03M to support Boreal Caribou conservation. This has enabled the signing of seven conservation agreements with provinces, territories and First Nations to support the protection and recovery of Boreal Caribou in Canada, as well as the implementation of additional conservation actions.
- The Government of Canada is leveraging synergies across other federal environmental and economic priorities to help implement actions to conserve and restore caribou habitat such as Canada’s commitment to plant two billion trees across the country.
- In December 2020, Canada published an Amended Recovery Strategy for Boreal Caribou, which fulfilled a commitment to identify critical habitat in northern Saskatchewan’s Boreal Shield range.
Southern Mountain Caribou
- In 2020, the Government of Canada finalized two conservation agreements for Southern Mountain Caribou in B.C.: a Bilateral Agreement between Canada and B.C., and a Partnership Agreement between Canada, B.C., and the Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations.
- Also in 2020, the governments of Canada and Alberta signed a conservation agreement for the conservation and recovery of Boreal and Southern Mountain Caribou in the province.
- The Government of Canada is now working with partners to implement the agreements while minimizing negative impacts to local communities and industries.
- Parks Canada invested $1.5M from the Nature Legacy Initiative to reduce threats and improve habitat for Southern Mountain Caribou. In collaboration with partners and experts, they have also developed a preliminary project proposal to rebuild caribou herds in Jasper National Park.
Why is the federal government being taken to court on Bank Swallow, and what is being done to protect this species?
- On July 7, 2020, a group of property owners in Alberta filed an application in Federal Court to compel the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to undertake various action under the Species at Risk Act.
- The applicants are concerned that a racetrack development near the Rosebud River poses a threat to the species.
- Bank Swallow is a migratory bird. As such, the federal government has primary responsibility for the species.
- Both individuals and nests of the species are protected federally under the Species at Risk Act and the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
- The federal government will fulfill its obligations under these statues, which will include monitoring, compliance promotion and, where necessary, enforcement actions to ensure that all Canadians understand how they can avoid or mitigate potential impacts of their activities on migratory birds.
What is the current status of the U.S. Migratory Bird Act as it relates to Canada?
- Canada and the U.S. have a long history of cooperation for the conservation of nature. In fact, 2016 marked 100 years of historical cooperation between Canada and the U.S. for the conservation of migratory birds.
- However, on January 7, 2021, under the Trump administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published a final rule (“MBTA rule”) defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) as it applies to the incidental take of migratory birds protected by the MBTA.
- The new rule clarifies that conduct resulting in unintentional (incidental) injury or death of migratory birds is notprohibited under the MBTA. In contrast, incidental take is prohibited under Canada’s Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
- President Biden has delayed implementation of the MBTA rule until March 8, 2021, in conformity with the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
- The U.S. FWS is requesting public comments on issues of fact, law, and policy raised by the recently published MBTA rule to inform their review of this final rule and to determine whether the rule should be further amended, delayed, or implemented as is.
- The Public comment period is officially open for 20 days until 1 March 2021 : Federal Register: Regulations Governing Take of Migratory Birds; Delay of Effective Date.
- Officials are discussing next steps within ECCC and with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Embassy. Canada is working to promote messages of cross-border collaboration for senior level meetings; exploring messaging for submission during the latest public comment period and level of sign off/critical path; and communications strategy.
Protection order compensation
Is the Government of Canada required to pay compensation to landowners, industries, or jurisdictions that would be affected by a protection order?
- Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change may consider providing fair and reasonable compensation for losses suffered as a result of any extraordinary impact of a protection order.
- A protection order does not automatically trigger a requirement to pay compensation.
- While SARA gives the Minister of Environment and Climate Change the authority to provide fair and reasonable compensation to any person for losses suffered as a result of any extraordinary impact of the application of a protection order, it also provides the Minister with the discretion in deciding whether to provide fair and reasonable compensation.
- The specific facts relating to any application for compensation would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis before a decision to provide any compensation is made.
Project impacts on Species at Risk
What is the Government doing to ensure that Species at Risk are considered in Federally Regulated Industrial projects?
- The Federal Government is working to create a whole-of-government approach with a focus on priority species identified under the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation by developing policies for the Species at Risk Act, sec. 77 and 79, Impact Assessment, Risk Management and Biodiversity offsetting.
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