Canada and Yukon chart new path with agreement to help protect and conserve nature

News release

December 14, 2022 – Montréal, Quebec

Protecting and conserving habitat and species requires collaborating with partners, including Indigenous peoples, all levels of government, industry, and community stakeholders. It calls for transformative change, innovation, and proper accounting for the value of nature across all sectors. The Governments of Canada and Yukon are committed to working together to protect and conserve biodiversity, habitat, and species at risk in the Yukon. This will contribute to the goal of protecting 25 percent of land and fresh water in Canada by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Nils Clarke, Yukon’s Minister of Environment, announced the Canada–Yukon Nature Agreement—the first agreement of its kind—to advance nature conservation and protection across the territory. The Government of Canada will invest a total of $20.6 million to implement the agreement and help protect nature. This will support Indigenous leadership in conservation; increased protection of sensitive habitats; and recovery actions for species at risk, such as the northern mountain caribou, the grizzly bear, and vascular plants, as well as the protection and conservation of new land in the Yukon.

The ministers announced the agreement at COP15 in Montréal. The Governments of Canada and Yukon will collaborate with Indigenous peoples and governments to implement Canada’s first Nature Agreement and work toward its target outcomes. The goal is to protect or conserve an additional 6 percent of Yukon’s vast wilderness, to reach 25 percent by 2025.

As the 15th United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity proceeds, Canada will continue to demonstrate a leadership role on biodiversity and nature conservation. Along with international partners, Canada is championing both the development of an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework with clear targets and actions, as well as the important role Indigenous Knowledge plays in efforts to conserve and protect biodiversity and natural environments. It takes ambitious actions to restore, conserve, and protect the natural safety net granted by biodiversity.

Quotes

“The Yukon is one of those iconic landscapes that helps define what Canada is as a country, both in our collective imagination and in reality on the ground. The Government of Canada is taking bold action to protect the natural environment that is our best ally in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. Together with the Government of Yukon, we’re protecting more sensitive habitats, supporting the recovery of species at risk, and restoring ecosystems across the Territory. Moving forward, the Canada–Yukon Nature Agreement will guide our actions, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, to conserve and protect nature in the Yukon.”

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

“The Yukon’s vast wilderness is why many choose to call the Yukon home. Climate change impacts, loss of biodiversity, and human impacts on the environment require bold action to protect our northern way of life. This partnership with the Government of Canada will support our work with Yukon First Nations, transboundary First Nations, and the Inuvialuit to protect our biodiversity, habitats, and species at risk, and to ensure the responsible and sustainable use of Yukon’s lands and resources for future generations.”

– The Honourable Nils Clarke, Yukon’s Minister of Environment

“The Yukon is on the front lines of climate change and nature conservation. Our northern way of life depends on the land, and protection of the land is in our hands. The Canada–Yukon Nature Agreement marks a new chapter in the protection and conservation of the North and all the abundant life it supports.”

– Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon

Quick facts

  • The Yukon has already conserved approximately 19.1 percent of its area for nature.

  • The Government of Canada has committed to conserve 25 percent of land and water in Canada by 2025, and work toward conserving 30 percent by 2030.

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
Kaitlin.Power@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Kyle Nightingale
Communications
Yukon Department of Environment
867-334-5922
kyle.nightingale@yukon.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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