Government of Canada announces $200M to address climate change by restoring carbon-rich ecosystems through nature-based solutions

News release

December 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented climate and ecological crisis. Climate change is warming our planet and altering the water cycle, resulting in extreme temperatures, flooding, droughts, and wildfires. It’s also contributing to the destruction of our planet’s rich biodiversity, which negatively impacts our communities and our quality of life, and threatens the livelihoods of Canadians who rely on it. Protecting more nature across Canada directly addresses these challenges.

Nature-based solutions are among the most powerful tools we have to address climate change. They leverage the power of Canada’s ecosystems to realize a number of key sustainability goals: preventing biodiversity loss, improving our resilience to extreme weather events, improving our air and water quality, securing our food supply, and capturing and storing carbon emissions that drive climate change. Actions like protecting wetlands, for example, helps capture and store carbon, while improving land management to make communities more resilient to extreme heat or flooding.

Building on Canada’s commitment to protect and conserve nature, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, today announced that applications are now being accepted for the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. With up to $200 million available over the next five years, the funding will help individuals and organizations reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by conserving, restoring, and enhancing the management of critical ecosystems. Supported projects will focus on restoring degraded ecosystems and conserving carbon-rich areas at high risk of conversion. Proposed projects would also focus on improving land management practices, especially in the agriculture, forest, and urban development sectors. Funding applications for projects to be completed in 2022–2023 will be accepted until January 25, 2022.

Important work under the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, launched earlier in 2021, has already begun. Fourteen projects received funding in 2021–2022 and are projected to conserve up to 30,000 hectares; restore up to 6,000 hectares; and contribute to the enhanced management of up to 18,000 hectares of wetlands, grasslands, and riparian areas. The Fund will provide over $71 million over three years for projects, including three Prairies-based projects with Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.

We can’t fight the climate or ecological crises without protecting nature—and initiatives like the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund are already making a difference in Canada’s efforts to protect 25 percent of lands and oceans by 2025, working towards 30 percent by 2030, while building community resilience.


“Canada is home to 24 percent of the world’s wetlands, 25 percent of temperate rainforest areas, and 28 percent of remaining boreal forests. These ecosystems are globally significant for absorbing carbon, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and protecting biodiversity. Investments to conserve, restore, and enhance these vital ecosystems and increase their resilience support our targets to address climate change and contribute to Canada’s efforts to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050, help stem biodiversity loss, and contribute to job creation in the green economy.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • Nature-based solutions are defined by the World Conservation Union as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges.”

  • Over the next ten years (2021–2031), the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund will support projects to restore, enhance, and conserve inland and coastal wetlands, peatlands, grasslands, and forests to capture and store carbon and to update policies, programs, and tools to better enable nature-based climate solutions.

  • The Government of Canada is investing $4 billion over the next ten years (2021–2031) in the Natural Climate Solutions Fund. Activities include:

    • The 2 Billion Trees Commitment, led by Natural Resources Canada ($3.19 billion);
    • Nature Smart Climate Solutions, led by Environment and Climate Change Canada ($631 million); and
    • Agricultural Climate Solutions, led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada ($185 million).
  • These ecosystems are critically important habitat for Canada’s wildlife, including migratory birds and species at risk.

  • Applicants can apply to the Place-Based Actions stream, the Sector-Based Policy stream, or the Reverse Auction stream.

  • The Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund supports Canada’s goal to protect 25 percent of lands and 25 percent of oceans by 2025, working towards 30 percent by 2030.

Associated links


Gabriel Brunet
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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