Indigenous-Led Area-Based Conservation


Indigenous Peoples are key partners as we work toward halting and reversing biodiversity loss in Canada. Indigenous Peoples have a deep knowledge and understanding of land management and we are working together to protect more nature, conserve biodiversity, and combat the effects of climate change. This program acknowledges the importance of culture, language, socio-economic factors, and traditional land use as part of conservation efforts.

Indigenous-Led Area-Based Conservation (ILABC) provides funding to Indigenous Peoples to lead or co-lead the establishment and recognition of protected areas or other effective area-based conservation mechanisms (OECMs) across Canada. In this way, ILABC will contribute to Canada’s goal of conserving 25% of land and inland waters by 2025, and 30% of each by 2030.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for ILABC funding, project proposals must clearly identify:

  1. The project is Indigenous-led.
  2. Project area must be assessed for protection or conservation through interim protection, established as a protected area or recognized as an other effective area-based conservation measure (OECM) by 2025 or 2030. Priority will be given to projects that are expected to be protected by 2025.
  3. Project must have the support of the relevant provincial or territorial government, and others with interest in the land. Should the project be funded, the province or territory and project recipient must be willing and able to report the project as a protected area or OECM or regional equivalent designation as part of Canada’s conservation targets (i.e. protecting 25% of Canada’s lands and waters by 2025 and 30% by 2030) once the project has achieved the criteria to be a(n) protected area, OECM, or regional equivalent designation. Projects are reported by the corresponding province or territory to the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database.
  4. The project has positive environmental and cultural impacts on the community, such as increasing connectivity, climate change adaptation or mitigation, and/or habitats for species at risk, language, transfer of knowledge between Elders and youth.

Additional information on the eligibility requirements can be found in the guidance document.

Eligible organizations

All applicants must be Indigenous, including Nations, governments, communities, councils, organizations, associations, and not-for-profit organizations.

Eligible activities

Notes: ECCC does not designate IPCAs. ECCC does not determine what is, or is not, an IPCA, and recognizes that Indigenous Nations, governments and communities are best positioned to determine if a conserved area is also an IPCA.

This funding does not support the ongoing management of IPCAs. It is focused on costs associated with establishing new Indigenous-led conservation areas.

Important information

This funding is available to support work toward Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), Metis Protected and Conserved Areas, Inuit Conserved Areas and other Indigenous-led conservation areas that will count toward Canada’s conservation targets.

In order to be eligible to count toward Canada’s conservation targets, all conservation areas must meet the criteria for a Protected Area or OECM and must be submitted to Canada’s Protected and Conserved Areas Database, also known as “CPCAD”.

Application process

The Expressions of Interest (EOI) closed to applicants in November 2022.

Map of funded projects

See the Canada Target 1 Challenge map for more information about other area-based conservation projects funded to date.


Please email us at if you have any questions about Indigenous-Led Area Based Conservation funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.


Related Links

Page details

Date modified: