CPAWS and partners call on the government to work for nature

October 24, 2019

Post-election: Now is the opportunity to unite Canadians behind protections for nature

Ottawa — Nature Canada, CPAWS, the David Suzuki Foundation and other nature groups are calling on the government to unite the country behind protection for nature.

On Thursday, a coalition of nature groups held a press conference on Parliament Hill and presented five key priorities that require urgent action to protect the natural world – actions that find support across regional and party lines and respond to Canadians core values and love of nature.

To demonstrate leadership on key Canadian concerns including climate change, species loss and reconciliation, the government must:

  • Adopt and achieve ambitious targets for protected areas, including completion of 17% terrestrial protection in 2020, moving to 30% of land and oceans protected by 2030.
  • Commit to Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship of protected areas.
  • Ensure protected areas are planned and managed for ecological integrity in accordance with internationally accepted minimum protection standards.
  • Tackle biodiversity loss and climate change as deeply connected crises.
  • Scale up conservation investments for long-term success, starting in federal budget 2020.

In April, polling data from the International Boreal Conservation Campaign found that nine out of 10 Canadians either strongly support or support the commitment to protect at least 17% of lands and freshwaters by 2020, and over two-thirds of Canadians support federal investment in
Indigenous protected areas. The message is clear: we must make room for nature.

“After a divisive national election, we need parliament to move forward on Canadians’ priorities. A love of nature unites us—but we are facing a crisis of species loss and extinction. The federal government now has the opportunity to work with other parties to protect nature by taking bold action to expand protected areas, support Indigenous-led conservation and invest long-term to ensure a healthy future for the wildlife that Canadians love.”  – Graham Saul, Executive Director, Nature Canada

“We look forward to seeing our recommended actions in the throne speech and mandate letters. We must achieve the completion of the 2020 target of 17% and champion the greater ambition – looking forward to laying down investments in the Budget to move towards 25% by 2025. We’re here to work with the government, to put forward concrete plans and to roll out priorities framed in the context of uniting the country.”
– Sandra Schwartz, National Executive Director, CPAWS

“Protecting nature is one of the simplest answers to today’s toughest questions. From mitigating climate change to preventing the extinction of species to promoting reconciliation, conservation is a critical tool in the toolbox.”  – Rachel Plotkin, David Suzuki Foundation

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To organize interviews in French or English on the topic, please contact:

Haley Ritchie, Communications Specialist, Nature Canada
613-562-3447 ext 252

Danielle Tremblay, National Director of Communications, CPAWS
613-569-7226 ext 232

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation