2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada


Terrestrial Areas and Inland Water

Protected areas, Indigenous conservation areas, and other conservation measures play a critical role in Canada’s efforts to conserve nature. They protect important parts of Canada’s ecosystems, maintain essential ecosystem services, safeguard habitat, help communities and natural systems adapt to climate change, and provide opportunities for tourism, recreation, and connections with nature for generations to come.


Canada’s response to the Convention on Biological Diversity

In 2010, a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was adopted at the Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. This plan includes 20 global biodiversity targets, known as Aichi Targets, which each party to the Convention has agreed to contribute to achieving by the year 2020. Canada, the European Community, and the other 195 parties in this global plan were encouraged to develop their own national targets using the Aichi Targets as a guide.

In 2015, Canada adopted a suite of national targets known as the “2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada”. These 19 targets cover issues ranging from species at risk to sustainable forestry to connecting Canadians to nature. This project focuses on the terrestrial and inland water aspects of Canada Target 1, which is based on Aichi Target 11. Canada Target 1 states:

By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10% of marine and coastal areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

On April 11, 2016, federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers responsible for parks agreed to establish a working group to develop a plan that will outline how jurisdictions can contribute to conserving at least 17 per cent of Canada’s terrestrial and inland water areas by 2020. Guidance will also be created for recommending best practices and indicators for measuring progress towards conserving Canada's biodiversity.


Collaboration is Key

Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks are co-leading the conservation initiative for the terrestrial and inland water component. In addition to the co-leads, a National Steering Committee is formed and includes representatives from the governments of Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Environment and Climate Change Canada, municipalities, and invitations have been extended to Indigenous groups. The National Steering Committee will produce recommendations for the consideration of ministers responsible for parks, protected areas and biodiversity conservation.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Parks Canada are working with provincial and territorial jurisdictions to achieve the marine component of Canada Target 1.

Solutions associated with achieving Canada Target 1 will be found through collaboration and collective action. Many governmental departments/ministries, Indigenous groups, communities, and non-profit and private sector organizations and others across Canada have a significant interest and/or stake in the outputs from this process.  


The National Advisory Panel

Individuals from across Canada are encouraged to apply for membership on the Canada Target 1 National Advisory Panel. The composition of the National Advisory Panel will seek to ensure a broad spectrum of perspectives, including Indigenous groups, municipalities, land trusts, non-governmental organizations, industry, academia and youth.

The National Advisory Panel members will work together through a consensus process to formulate advice for the National Steering Committee and governments on how to achieve Canada Target 1. The advice of the National Advisory Panel will be recorded in a publically available document.



Canada Target 1 website: www.Conservation2020canada.ca


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