Partners in Saskatchewan demonstrate strong commitment to biodiversity conservation in Meewasin Valley

News release

November 25, 2022 — Gatineau, Quebec

Conserving and restoring nature is vital to protecting biodiversity and species at risk. Nature protection is also vital to address climate change and to maintain a strong, sustainable economy. Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, depend on nature for food, clean water, breathable air, and a livable climate. As such, Canada is committed to working with provincial, territorial, Indigenous, and municipal governments, as well as other partners to advance conservation goals—particularly its commitment to protect 25 percent of the land, freshwater, and oceans by 2025, working toward 30 percent by 2030.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, along with the Honourable Dana Skoropad, Saskatchewan Minister of Environment, and Andrea Lafond, Chief Executive Officer of the Meewasin Valley Authority, announced the recognition of nine Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures and seven Protected Areas. These areas have been added to Canada’s Protected and Conserved Areas Database.

These Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures and Protected Areas represent more than 640 hectares within the 6,700 hectare Meewasin jurisdiction, an ecological corridor of conserved land through the Saskatoon region. Together, these areas support biodiversity conservation in an urban region.  

Saskatchewan’s goal to conserve 12 percent of land and water in the province supports Canada’s conservation goals. By working together, the governments of Canada, Saskatchewan, and Meewasin are advancing conservation, tackling climate change and working to halt biodiversity loss.

Canada’s push to protect more nature comes as it prepares to welcome the world to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Quebec, from December 7 to 19. This landmark conference is a chance for Canada to show its continued leadership and work with international partners and Indigenous peoples to take action to conserve nature and halt biological diversity loss around the world.


“Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward for the protection of nature in Saskatchewan. I would like to commend the Government of Saskatchewan for the leadership they’ve shown in reporting conservation and biodiversity benefits through Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures in the province. This is something we would like to see from all provinces and territories in Canada, as we prepare to host the major COP15 Biodiversity Conference next month and continue to champion more domestic and international conservation efforts.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Saskatchewan is proud to have the most Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures in place among the provinces and territories in Canada. We have a robust network of protected and conserved areas, and today’s announcement moves us even closer to reaching our goal of conserving 12 percent of Saskatchewan’s land and water by 2025. We recognize the importance of conservation—a healthy environment improves our resilience to climate change, protects biodiversity, and keeps our economy strong.”
– The Honourable Dana Skoropad, Saskatchewan Minister of Environment

“The Meewasin Valley Authority (Meewasin) is a unique partnership of sub-national governments including the Government of Saskatchewan, the city of Saskatoon, and the University of Saskatchewan to conserve cultural and natural resources for present and future generations. The Meewasin Valley is an ecological corridor through the Saskatoon region, Canada’s 17th largest urban centre. Meewasin is proud that Saskatchewan is leading the way for Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures, particularly in Saskatoon, a rapidly growing region with over 328,000 people living within 15 kilometres of our jurisdiction. Meewasin is pleased with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s recognition of the ongoing stewardship that our organization has been providing for over 40 years. We are excited to be attending and participating in COP15 to highlight our local action and global impact for sustainability and biodiversity.”
– Andrea Lafond, Chief Executive Officer, Meewasin Valley Authority

“Alongside Meewasin, the city of Saskatoon is proud to play a pivotal role in the conservation of natural areas within the city and surrounding area. We've worked collaboratively to identify protected and conserved areas in and around Saskatoon to help protect and preserve these spaces for generations to come.Environment and Climate Change Canada’s recognition is a testament to our collective efforts and years of working together as partners.”
– Lynne Lacroix, General Manager, Community Services Division, City of Saskatoon

Quick facts

  • Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures play a pivotal role in Canada’s plan to support provincial and territorial conservation goals, and they are part of the Government of Canada’s holistic approach to biodiversity conservation in pursuit of domestic and international goals.

  • Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures exist where land owners and managers are managing lands in ways that achieve the conservation of biodiversity, even when the primary purpose of that management is not conservation (e.g. ranching lands, recreation areas, historic sites, etc.).

  • Saskatchewan is a Canadian and global leader in Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures recognition, with 1.3 million hectares of land recognized—primarily native prairie grasslands managed for beef cattle production—that achieve long term biodiversity outcomes.

  • The main difference between a Protected Area and an Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure is the purpose of the site’s management. The primary purpose of a Protected Area is biodiversity conservation. Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures are managed for other purposes, in ways that also achieve the conservation of biodiversity.

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Kaitlin Power
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)

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