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Nature Conservancy of Canada applauds new conservation funds in Budget 2018

By Contributor
March 7th, 2018

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) welcomes the announcement in Budget 2018 that significant new funds will be earmarked to protect Canada’s nature, parks, wild spaces, and species at risk.

The investment of $1.3 billion over five years affirms Canada’s commitment to protecting our lands and our waters and the variety of species they sustain. Conservation of our natural areas ensures our country will remain a place where people want to live, work and invest. Protecting the environment and growing our economy go hand in hand.

“This is a game-changer for conservation in Canada — a historic investment in nature that will support important work to protect the habitats, animals and plants that are at greatest risk in our country,” said said John Lounds, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“At the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we look forward to working with the Government of Canada and all our partners to leverage this investment and achieve conservation results of global significance.”

Budget 2018 supports Canada Target 1 — the pledge to protect 17 per cent of our land and inland waters and 10 per cent of our coastal and marine areas by the end of the decade. Around the world, countries are forging ahead to reach these global targets by 2020. NCC is pleased to see the Government of Canada charting a pathway to meet these goals, with a meaningful investment in public, private and Indigenous protected areas.

The NCC is pleased to see the importance of private land conservation recognized in the budget. The government’s contribution of $500 million towards a $1-billion Nature Fund encourages collaborative conservation — incenting provinces, territories, corporate and not-for-profit groups to work together to conserve land and species at risk.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and our partners, including Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community, are already delivering results under the Natural Areas Conservation Program. We are now ready to do more — to leverage this federal investment to accelerate priority conservation, contribute directly to Canada Target 1 and support climate change adaptation and species at risk goals.

We also welcome the budget’s commitment to increase federal capacity to protect species at risk and implement new recovery strategies, to expand national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries, and establish a network of conservation areas, working with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners.

The government’s announcement today, a $1.3 billion dollar commitment to nature, is in line with recommendations made last fall by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and other members of the Green Budget Coalition.

“Land trusts across the country loudly applaud the Government of Canada’s commitment to nature and biodiversity conservation in Budget 2018,” said Susan Walmer, Canadian Land Trusts Working Committee.

“Canada is one of the few remaining places on our planet with significant, intact natural areas, many of which are on private land in close proximity to urban centres. Through community-based private land conservation, land trusts are uniquely positioned to leverage the government’s investment to help slow or reverse species declines, protect watersheds and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

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