Government of Canada puts $175 million toward projects that protect nature

News release

December 3, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s natural landscapes inspire pride from coast to coast to coast: Canadians love our mountains, lakes and rivers, as well as our coasts, forests, and wildlife. Nature is important not only to our cultural identity but also to our health and prosperity. That’s why the Government of Canada is doubling the amount of protected nature in Canada’s lands and oceans by 2020.

Today, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched the Target 1 Challenge, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, which will provide up to $175 million for projects that help meet Canada’s biodiversity target 1 of protecting 17 per cent of land and inland water by 2020. Federal funding will be matched by partners, doubling financial support to protect Canada’s nature. This funding is part of Budget 2018’s historic $1.3 billion investment in nature. Funding through the Target 1 Challenge is open to projects led by provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and the private and not-for-profit sectors that expand or strengthen Canada’s network of protected and conserved areas.

These projects will contribute to Canada’s goal of doubling the amount of nature protected across the country. Projects will also support sustainable economic growth and job creation and will demonstrate global leadership in protecting biodiversity.

The application process includes an expression of interest and final proposal phase.  Interested organizations are encouraged to submit an initial expression of interest by January 31, 2019. Final proposals must be submitted by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on March 15, 2019. Interested organizations are encouraged to review the guidebook for applicants at


“Nature is one of Canada’s most precious resources. The Target 1 Challenge will help us reach our goal of doubling the amount of nature we’re protecting, in Canada’s lands and oceans, and ensure clean air and clean water for all Canadians. By working together, we can pass on a healthy environment to our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The new $500 million Canada Nature Fund will be matched by partners who will contribute an additional $500 million to raise at least $1 billion toward the conservation of Canada’s nature.

  • The Canada Nature Fund supports the protection of Canada’s ecosystems, landscapes, biodiversity, and species at risk.

  • The Canada Nature Fund also supports the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, a $100 million program that conserves and protects private lands for future generations.

  • Up to $175 million will be available under the Target 1 Challenge component of the Canada Nature Fund to establish Indigenous protected and conserved areas and other protected and conserved areas.

  • Globally, Canada has 20 per cent of freshwater resources, 24 per cent of wetlands, 25 per cent of temperate rainforest area, and 33 per cent of remaining boreal forest.

Associated links


Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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