National Conservation Plan: public statement
The Government of Canada is committed to working with Canadians to conserve and restore Canada’s rich natural heritage for present and future generations. On May 15, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched the National Conservation Plan, which provides a national vision to advance conservation efforts across the country. The Plan includes significant additional investments of $252 million over five years that will further enable progress in three priority areas:
- Conserving Canada’s lands and waters: safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity and ecosystems through conservation and stewardship actions, including on working landscapes and seascapes.
- Restoring Canada’s ecosystems: supporting the restoration of degraded ecosystems, which, once restored, will provide habitat for wildlife and clean water, and are essential for the protection and recovery of species at risk.
- Connecting Canadians to nature: leveraging existing successful initiatives to help foster an appreciation for nature and building a “community of stewards” among Canadians of all ages.
The National Conservation Plan is one of the many initiatives the Government of Canada has undertaken to protect Canada’s natural heritage for the benefit of future generations. It complements significant efforts already underway, including creating new parks, protecting ecologically sensitive lands, protecting species at risk and their habitat, and improving water quality.
Overall, the National Conservation Plan will have positive environmental effects related to the conservation and restoration of Canada’s species and habitats, which it will achieve through a variety of initiatives that advance protection, stewardship and sustainable use. By also connecting Canadians with nature, the Plan will foster a conservation ethic among Canadians and encourage and empower them to take action in their own communities, thus leading to additional positive environmental effects.
The National Conservation Plan contains efforts to encourage stewardship actions on private lands and working landscapes, manage protected areas, produce and disseminate the knowledge needed for informed decision-making, and connect people to nature so that they are motivated to participate in conservation activities. The results of these activities - habitat conservation and restoration; healthy, connected, and sustainably managed landscapes and seascapes; species at risk recovery; and increased support for and participation in conservation and stewardship efforts - will contribute to the achievement of Goal 4 (targets 4.1-4.5) and Goal 5 (targets 5.1-5.4) of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
Progress under the National Conservation Plan will be measured against a set of outcomes related to land and ocean conservation, restoration of lands and shorelines, opportunities for Canadians to experience nature, and access to improved information about Canada’s natural environment.
The National Conservation Plan complements the proposed 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, which were developed together with our conservation partners, as part of our participation in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Plan initiatives will help Canada make progress on many of the targets. The goals and targets will also help to measure and report on progress for some areas of the Plan.
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