200 organizations call on the federal government to follow through on election promises
OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE – As parliament prepares to return next week, 200 of Canada’s leading nature organizations are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure the federal government prioritizes the protection and recovery of nature during this session of Parliament, as promised during the recent federal election.
Over the past two weeks, world leaders have gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, at the UN climate conference COP26. Today’s open letter reminds federal parties that the protection and restoration of nature is critical to our global environmental recovery and that Canada must solve the climate and biodiversity crises together or risk solving neither.
“We must put in place stronger actions to cut greenhouse emissions. And we must deliver a comprehensive plan — with timelines and targets — to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and bring nature to full recovery by 2050,” the letter reads.
“Despite the historic nature investment in Budget 2021 and advancement of protected areas, studies show that Canadian laws and policies to safeguard biodiversity have fallen short and we continue to lose nature faster than we can recover it.”
The letter focuses on five key areas where the federal government must urgently and effectively act to protect and restore nature:
- Protecting at least 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030
- Supporting Indigenous-led conservation and respecting Indigenous rights
- Getting nature-based climate solutions right
- Restoring degraded ecosystems
- Supporting urban biodiversity and advancing environmental justice
The nature groups want to underscore the urgency of this moment for Canada and the planet and they look forward to working with all parliamentarians to build a nature-positive, carbon neutral and equitable Canada for all.
“The government’s commitment to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 is a game-changer. With Canada’s wetlands, grasslands and primary forests disappearing faster than we can recover them and over 600 wildlife species at risk, we are facing a climate and nature emergency that threatens our collective future. We need a comprehensive strategy to put us on the path to nature’s full recovery. The government’s platform commitments to support Indigenous-led conservation, protect and restore land and ocean and advance environmental justice must be top priorities for our new parliament. Over 200 nature organizations are ready to help. Our climate and planet depend on it.”
Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada
“We need urgent action on the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises. All levels of governments must work together toward our land and ocean protection goals, including by supporting and investing in Indigenous-led conservation and Indigenous Guardians programs that conserve nature while advancing reconciliation.”
Sandra Schwartz, CPAWS National Executive Director
“Human societies have to deeply embed and then act on the understanding that we are an interconnected part of nature. Species extinction, the destruction of nature, climate chaos and the disenfranchisement of many parts of society share common causes and require urgent, coordinated action to address. The ways forward are clear – we need action from government and civil society to achieve what we know is possible.”
Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation
– 30 –
For more information or a media interview, please contact:
Nature Canada: Scott Mullenix, firstname.lastname@example.org | 613-462-4024
David Suzuki Foundation: Brendan Glauser, email@example.com | 604-356-8829
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) – National: Tracy Walden, firstname.lastname@example.org | 613-915-4857
World Wildlife Federation – Canada (WWF): Elizabeth Hendriks, email@example.com