Canada funds new project to protect species at risk and their habitat in Southwestern British Columbia
November 9, 2022 – Delta, British Columbia
Canada’s wildlife and its habitat are in crisis. The future of all living things depends on action taken now. Efforts to protect biodiversity and habitat for species at risk are vital to the health of the planet, and are a priority for the Government of Canada.
Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $260,000 over four years for Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust to carry out work that protects grassland habitat on agricultural land in Delta, British Columbia.
Only five percent of native grassland remains within the lower Fraser River Delta. Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust works with farmers to temporarily take fields out of agricultural production, plant native grasses, and set them aside as undisturbed grassland habitat for species at risk and species of other concern. This work targets four species: the great blue heron, the barn owl, the barn swallow, and the short-eared owl.
This is just one of the measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it prepares to welcome the world to Montréal in December 2022 for the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The fifteenth Conference of the Parties presents an opportunity for Canada to demonstrate its leadership in taking action to conserve nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world.
“Delta has diverse wildlife and a vibrant natural landscape. It is vital that we protect and preserve it for generations to come. For over 25 years, Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust has been working hard to preserve the beauty of the lands that surround the Fraser River. Today, we’re investing in these efforts to help protect and recover habitats that species at risk call home to ensure their survival, and help ecosystems thrive.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“Efforts being made in communities across the country, to conserve and restore nature in communities across the country, are essential as we face the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change. Supporting projects such as this one in Southwestern British Columbia is an incredibly important part of how the Government of Canada is protecting nature.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Long-term partnerships are instrumental in delivering effective programs on farms. This funding will create hundreds of acres of habitat for wildlife in Delta that otherwise would not exist. These projects underscore the critical role farm landscapes play in supporting species at risk.”
– Christine Schmalz, Executive Director, Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust
Southwestern British Columbia is one of eleven priority places identified under the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation.
A priority place is an area of high biodiversity value that is seen as a distinct place with a common ecological theme by the people who live and work there.
Priority places cover nearly thirty million hectares, including two million hectares of critical habitat for species at risk. More than 300 species at risk can be found in these places, many of which have more than half of their range in a priority place.
Priority places are identified and implemented in collaboration with the provincial and territorial governments.
Canada and British Columbia have committed to negotiating an agreement on nature that will include cost-effective, multi-species recovery actions, protect iconic species at risk, like the spotted owl and boreal caribou, and support Indigenous leadership in conservation.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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