Protecting and restoring biodiversity in the Canadian marine environment
December 17, 2022
Montreal, Quebec - From feeding our families and supporting important industries, to housing diverse species, habitats and ecosystems, our oceans connect us all. Now more than ever, we are seeing the impact that climate change and biodiversity loss has on our marine spaces. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to conserving and protecting our oceans now, and for future generations.
Today at the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced new support for ocean restoration, conservation, and research across Canada, backed up by $227.5 million in funding, including:
- An investment of $75 million over the next five years for the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund, as part of the expanded Oceans Protection Plan, to support projects that conserve and restore priority coastal and upstream aquatic areas.
- An additional investment of $7.5 million, over three years, through the Ecosystem and Oceans Contribution Program, to fund science-based activities and research in support of marine conservation efforts.
- An initial investment of $6.9 million for the first round of a national Call for Proposals through the Oceans Management Contribution Program to advance outreach, monitoring, stewardship, and capacity-building initiatives across the country that help protect marine areas. This is part of a larger funding envelope of $145 million over 5 years to support collaboration with key partners across the country.
These initiatives will further Canada’s efforts on marine conservation by improving our understanding of the marine environment, restoring aquatic habitats and contributing towards conservation initiatives. Canada has made historic progress on conserving our marine waters going from less than one per cent protection in 2015, to over 14 per cent today. As Canada welcomes the world to COP15 and leads on international efforts, we will continue to take bold action at home to protect 25 per cent of our oceans by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030.
The work needed to help meet these targets will continue during the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) hosted by Canada alongside Host First Nations – the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh – in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) from February 3-9 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The congress will bring together marine conservation experts to exchange knowledge, experience and best practices to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity.
Through these initiatives and continued collaboration with partners, Canada is making concrete progress towards ocean conservation and protection. These efforts are making a difference in building a cleaner, more sustainable aquatic environment for generations to come.
“It is clear we must take concrete action to restore and safeguard ocean health, and to support the role of ocean sectors in addressing climate change and reversing nature loss. Working alongside innovative organizations, as well as with provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, helps to chart a path towards fighting against biodiversity loss and achieving our marine conservation targets. By working together, we can better monitor and protect our marine ecosystems, combat climate change, and build a stronger, more sustainable blue economy for all.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Canada’s oceans and waterways are invaluable to our coastal communities, our marine transportation system, and to marine biodiversity. That’s why, through the Oceans Protection Plan and in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities, our Government is proud to invest in initiatives like the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund to increase protections for our coastal ecosystems, make marine shipping safer, and build a safer and greener marine transportation system that protects marine biodiversity.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
Budget 2022 committed to provide $2 billion over nine years to renew Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan and expand its work into new areas.
Since 2016, the Government of Canada has dedicated a total of $3.5 billion to the Oceans Protection Plan, making it the largest investment Canada has ever made to protect its coasts and waterways.
Under Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a historic investment of $976.8 million over five years to protect the health of our oceans and to reach ambitious targets of conserving 25 per cent of our oceans by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030.
- Protecting our coasts through the Oceans Protection Plan
- Better protected coastal ecosystems
- Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund
- Marine Conservation Science
- Oceans management funding opportunities
- Meeting Canada’s marine conservation targets
- Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5)
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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