Canada, don’t water down marine protection!
A federal government expert panel report looking at Canada’s marine protected areas highlights the need for stronger, more consistent standards and more significant partnerships with Indigenous communities.
According to the report, Canada should stop allowing industrial activities such as oil and gas exploration, mining, dumping and bottom trawling that contravene accepted international standards within marine protected areas.
The panel also calls for better planning and consultation to meet the biodiversity conservation goals marine protected areas are designed to address. The panel’s report should lay out a clear course for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other federal departments to establish world class standards for marine protection.
The Government of Canada has committed to meeting international targets to protect 10 per cent of marine areas by 2020. The panel confirms the David Suzuki Foundation’s calls to recognize international standards, provide stable long-term funding, assesses current protected areas and resolve the conflict between federal agencies and offshore petroleum boards.
Meeting targets is important but not if the areas don’t meet scientifically based standards that support healthy ecosystems and marine life.
We’re calling on Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson to ensure Canada’s marine protection meets the highest standards possible. We’re also urging the federal government to respect Indigenous rights, traditional knowledge and governance as integral to marine protection in Canada.
Please add your name to the growing list urging Canada to fulfil its leadership role in ocean conservation.