Capital Regional District in British Columbia contributes to Canada’s national conservation network, supporting nature, and combatting climate change

News release

May 16, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

Canadians enjoy rich natural landscapes from coast to coast to coast. This country is home to one quarter of the Earth’s wetlands and boreal forests; one fifth of its fresh water; the longest coastline in the world; and important habitats for birds, fish, and mammals.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, commended the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island for its contribution to conservation in Canada. They have officially recognized all 33 of the regional parks under their jurisdiction in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database. Now, as part of Canada’s national conservation network, the combined area represents 13,329.75 hectares, or 133.3square kilometres, which is roughly equivalent to 33 Stanley Parks.

Science shows that conserving and restoring nature is vital to halting and reversing biodiversity loss, protecting species at risk, and fighting climate change. That is why the federal government has set the goal of conserving 30 percent of Canada’s land and water by 2030 and is working with partners across the country to achieve it.

Some of these partners include other governments, Indigenous groups, and environmental non-government organizations. By working together to recognize more conserved areas in the national database, Canada will continue to have a clearer—and more complete—picture of the conservation network across the country.

The Capital Regional District is a trailblazer for reporting their locally-protected and conserved areas directly in the national database. They are a prime example of how local governments can make meaningful contributions to national and international conservation targets. The future depends on everyone working together to act now.


“Nature is deeply woven into Canadians’ sense of identity, and many of us find connection to it through local and municipal parks in our communities. These areas play an important role in conservation efforts across the country, yet they continue to be under-reported in our national database for protected areas. I commend the Capital Regional District for embracing and supporting Canada’s conservation goals. This commitment has helped move us closer to conserving 30 percent of land and water by 2030—and in this incredibly important work, every effort counts.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Having our regional parks system included in Canada’s Protected and Conserved Areas Database recognizes our ongoing conservation efforts and the confidence that regional residents have placed in the Capital Regional District to sustain and grow our regional parks system over the years. This recognition is also good news for Capital Regional District residents because it confirms we’re on the right track with our 2022–32 Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan and wider Capital Regional District commitments to reconciliation, combatting climate change, and protecting at-risk, biodiverse areas in our fast-growing region.”  
– Colin Plant, Board Chair, Capital Regional District

Quick facts

  • Canada’s network of protected and conserved areas is important to mitigating the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems, and contributing to the recovery of species at risk. Intact forests and wetlands also capture and store carbon dioxide and can help protect communities from the impacts of climate change.

  • The Capital Regional District is the regional government for 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, serving more than 432,000 people.

  • The Capital Regional District facilitates regional decision-making on issues that transcend municipal boundaries, including regional parks and recreation facilities, the regional water supply, solid waste, and wastewater treatment.

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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)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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