Protecting our nature: Canada’s story
It is in our nature
Canada is home to one quarter of the Earth’s wetlands and boreal forests, 20% of its freshwater, the longest coastline in the world, and precious habitats for birds, fish, and mammals. We have a special responsibility to the world.
Together with Canadians, we are doubling the protection of our lands and oceans
We are on our way to protecting 1,697,000 km2 of our land and freshwater, and 575,000 km2 of our oceans by 2020. That is 2,272,000 km2 of protected land, lake and ocean— an area bigger than Greenland!
We are doing it together with provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, cities and towns, foundations, charities and other partners from coast to coast to coast.
Map of Canada with text "We are doubling the protection of Canada's lands and oceans" and arrow indicating the increase in protected land divided into 3 dates: 2015: 1.12 million square kilometers, Today: 2 million kilometers square and 2020: 2.27 million square kilometers. The data is as of October, 2019.
What we have done
So far, more than 2 million km2 of our lands and oceans are already protected or conserved—bigger than the size of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador combined. Over the past several years, we have increased this number by creating and supporting new federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous protected areas, as well as areas protected by land trusts and communities.
We’re adding new protected and other conserved areas like:
- Edéhzhie Indigenous protected area, the first Indigenous protected area established under the Canada Nature Fund.
- Scott Islands National Marine protected area, one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Canada’s Pacific coast, attracting millions of migratory birds each year.
- St Anns Bank Marine protected area off the coast of Nova Scotia, a habitat for more than 100 species.
- Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland, an Alberta-led protected area created and managed though collaboration with local Indigenous groups, the community and industry, and supported by the Canada Nature Fund
- Kenauk protected area, a unique and exceptional wetland and forest area, home to more than 170 species protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada
What we are doing next
We are not done yet! To reach our 2020 target, we still need to protect a land area almost the size of Spain. We are doing this by:
- continuing to create new federal protected land and marine areas
- funding others to protect land and water through programs like
- supporting individuals who want to protect private lands through the Ecological Gifts Program
- supporting Indigenous rights and responsibilities in protecting and conserving ecosystems through the Indigenous Guardians program
- protecting sensitive habitats and improving conditions for 230 species at risk
- recognizing protected and other conserved areas that are already contributing to our network.
How you can help
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: