Canada announces $69.5 million in funding to protect and restore ocean ecosystems in developing countries

News release

February 6, 2023 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Global Affairs Canada

Around the world, healthy ocean ecosystems, which are a key source of food and livelihoods for coastal communities and beyond, are under threat. The effects of climate change and biodiversity loss have caused coastal erosion and infertile wetlands that jeopardize the economic, social and environmental viability of coastal regions and communities, particularly those in developing countries where the impacts are highest.

As part of International Development Week 2023, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced a total of $69.5 million in funding for climate finance to support 4 nature-based-solutions projects that will help marginalized communities adapt to climate change, strengthen biodiversity and reduce poverty.

Three of these projects are part of Canada’s Partnering for Climate initiative, announced in February 2022, to support projects implemented by civil society organizations in Canada and abroad, other organizations in Canada and Indigenous peoples that will support climate change adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. The 3 projects are Regenerative Seascapes for People, Climate and Nature in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Comoros and Madagascar; Natur’ELLES in Senegal; and Conservation and Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in Kenya.

The fourth project is Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Adaptation: Monitoring and Impact project, which supports partners of Canada’s nature-positive climate finance programming in developing countries.

Minister Sajjan made the announcement at the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) in Vancouver, British Columbia, during a panel discussion on marine nature-based solutions and climate, hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and moderated by Stewart Maginnis, Deputy Director General—Programme, ICUN. The panel included Minister Sajjan; Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu, Minister of Culture, Environment and Marine Resources, French Polynesia; Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean; Maxine Burkett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Fisheries and Polar Affairs, U.S. State Department; and Jennifer Clark, Chief Scientific Officer, Cascadia Seaweed.

While at IMPAC5, Minister Sajjan also met individually with Mr. Thomson to discuss sustainable solutions for marine protected areas and small island developing states in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, as well as strengthening Canada’s relations in the Indo-Pacific region.


“Healthy oceans mean healthy communities and a strong future for generations to come. Canada is a leader in climate finance and is using nature-based solutions to secure both climate and biodiversity benefits while addressing gender inequalities and recognizing the knowledge and leadership of Indigenous peoples.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“The triple crises of pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change know no borders. Canada is committed to reaching domestic and international nature-conservation targets and supporting developing countries doing the same. Many of the countries that steward the majority of the world’s biodiversity require assistance to protect it. Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s commitment to protecting 30% of the land and water across our country and supporting efforts in other parts of the world. We are all in this together.”

Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Unique ecosystems and a plethora of biodiversity can be found in oceans, and these marine resources are vital to supporting livelihoods in coastal communities and keeping the oceans healthy. This funding will help foster the next wave of environmentally sustainable ocean-based innovations.”

Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • IMPAC5 is taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from February 3 to 9, 2023, and is being co-hosted by the IUCN, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Governments of British Columbia and Canada, as well as the host First Nations of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh). This global forum brings together ocean conservation professionals and high-level officials to inform, inspire and act on marine protected areas.

  • This announcement also comes during Canada’s International Development Week, which runs from February 5 to 11, 2023, and highlights the work Canadians and Canadian civil society organizations do to contribute to reducing poverty around the world.

  • In 2021, Canada announced a doubling of its international climate finance funding: from $2.65 billion for fiscal year 2015 to 2016 to fiscal year 2020 to 2021 to $5.3 billion for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to fiscal year 2025 to 2026.

  • To further strengthen its ability to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient, nature-positive and inclusive sustainable development, Canada also announced that it will:

    • allocate a minimum of 20% of climate financing to projects that leverage nature-based climate solutions and projects that contribute to the protection, conservation and restoration of nature
    • continue to support women’s leadership and decision-making on climate action and ensure that at least 80% of climate projects integrate gender equality in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

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Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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