Minister Guilbeault’s statement on Canada’s commitment to the protection and recovery of species at risk and restoring natural areas and biodiversity
November 28, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec
“Planet earth has been called the Blue Marble—a fragile, nurturing home for all of humanity and all of its other inhabitants. When we protect nature, we also enable nature to care for us. Green, resilient, and healthy neighbourhoods, a clean, low-carbon economy, and thriving ecosystems are the keys to sustainable life on Earth.
“Canadians have a deep connection with nature, and strive to live in harmony with it and care for it. However, our current way of life has had significant impacts on nature. Many of the natural spaces and species we love are under threat from human activity and climate change. Biodiversity loss and climate change are intrinsically connected. While nature is at risk because of climate change in Canada and around the world, nature is also a critical ally in the fight against climate change. The direct drivers of global biodiversity loss are land- and sea-use change, overexploitation of species, climate change, pollution, and invasive species.
“We are facing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis with more than one million species facing extinction globally, including 640 at-risk species in Canada. This rapid decline of biodiversity has critical implications for humanity, from the collapse of food, economic, and health systems, to the disruption of entire supply chains. The Government of Canada is committed to taking ambitious actions to restore and protect the natural safety net granted by biodiversity.
“In the three weeks leading up to Montréal hosting the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, we are highlighting Canadian actions under the broad themes of progress, species protection, and partnership. Each theme, in its own way, carries momentum into the Nature COP, which gets underway December 7. And each theme also represents a waypoint on the path Canada will be pursuing in negotiations.
“This is Species Protection Week, highlighting just how vital it is that we take action locally, regionally, and nationally to recover Canada’s species at risk and restore our natural areas and biodiversity. We need to consider how we, as Canadians, can become better stewards of 100 percent of the landscape.
“For its part, the Government of Canada is enabling real on-the-ground actions, strengthening protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats to achieve better outcomes for species at risk such as caribou, wood bison, and sage grouse. The Government of Canada is also making progress toward achieving the 25 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 targets for area-based conservation as our network of protected areas plays a vital role in conserving and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk.
“This week we’ll be announcing new funding for habitat stewardship as we continue our steady progress toward halting and reversing nature loss in Canada by 2030 and achieving a full recovery for nature by 2050. Reaching this important objective will require all of us to help: all levels of government, and every Canadian, including Indigenous peoples, non-government organizations, and industry.
“In 2018, federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers agreed to the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada, shifting from a single-species approach to conservation to one that focuses on multiple species and ecosystems. Concentrating conservation efforts on priority places, species, sectors, and threats across Canada is enabling conservation partners to work together to achieve better outcomes for species at risk. There is renewed, focused collaboration on shared priorities including 11 priority places and six priority species. Canada will continue promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of wildlife internationally, and supporting the conservation and sustainable use of global wildlife. Canada will advocate that the new global biodiversity framework address the direct drivers of biodiversity loss.
“These are just some of the measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it prepares to welcome the world to Montréal from December 7–19 for COP15. Along with international partners, Canada is championing the development of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework with both clear targets and actions. COP15 presents an opportunity for Canada to show its leadership in taking actions to conserve and restore nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world.”
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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