Progress, protection and partnership: Minister Guilbeault’s statement on Canada’s path to COP15 in Montréal
November 21, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec
“We are three weeks away from Canada welcoming the world to Montréal for the biggest international nature summit in a generation. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting Canadian actions under the broad themes of progress, protection and partnership—progress towards our goal of conserving 25 percent of Canada’s land and waters by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030; protection of iconic species; and partnership with Indigenous peoples as a foundation of all our work. Each in its own way carries momentum into the nature and biological diversity conference. And each represents a waypoint on the path Canada will be pursuing in negotiations.
“Beginning on December 7, the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will bring together 196 countries to blaze a path forward at a time when nature is under threat across the globe. For Canadians, this is personal. The past three years of pandemic have only strengthened our national appreciation for the beauty of nature and its importance to our collective physical and mental well-being. More than ever, Canadians understand and value our natural, wild spaces. We also know that Canada matters. Globally, Canada is home to twenty percent of freshwater resources, twenty-four percent of wetlands, twenty-five percent of temperate rainforest areas, and thirty-three percent of remaining boreal forests.
“The Government of Canada has been making significant commitments and investments to address the intertwined challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, to protect and conserve nature, and to create jobs in nature conservation and management. Since 2018, Canada has made major investments in nature conservation that are unprecedented in Canada’s history. We have worked hard to do this in partnership with Indigenous peoples, the original stewards of the land. We are building on accomplishments that transformed how Canada works to protect land, freshwater, oceans, and wildlife in Canada.
“This is Progress Week. Today in Peterborough, Ontario, the Government of Canada is kicking things off with the announcement of $109 million from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund for forty worthwhile projects. The Kawartha Land Trust is among them, and will receive up to $1.7 million over five years to secure Ontario land made up of carbon-rich ecosystems with extensive biodiversity. It is just one more step in Canada’s commitment to conserve a quarter of land and oceans in Canada by 2025, and thirty percent by 2030.
“The Thirty by Thirty Goal is one we would love to see the world adopt in Montréal. Biodiversity, in Canada and around the world, is declining at a rate unprecedented in human history. We need to act together to conserve natural spaces, protect species at risk, and increase Canadians’ access to nature, including in urban areas. And we’re making progress. In three years, we have increased the total to 13.5 percent of land and 13.9 percent of oceans in Canada as of December 31, 2021.
“Together with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, we have protected habitat for wildlife and all living things across the country, including new areas such as
- Edéhzhíe, an Indigenous protected area in Northwest Territories, nearly three times the size of Prince Edward Island
- Rouge National Urban Park in Ontario, Canada’s first ever urban park
- Tallurutiup Imanga in Nunavut—Canada's largest marine protected area
- Thaidene Nëné National Park Reserve
- Designating Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area off the coast of British Columbia
“Other significant projects include a large expansion of the Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland Park in northern Alberta, the doubling of protected and conserved areas in New Brunswick, and at least seventeen new and expanded protected areas in Nova Scotia.
“Progress must continue. We need to add an additional land area roughly the size of British Columbia to Canada’s network of protected and conserved areas to achieve our goal. This week the Government of Canada will announce several more projects that will help us along.
“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 in December 2022 for the Nature COP. 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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