The Nature Conservancy of Canada Applauds Conservation Measures in Federal Budget

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today applauds the federal government for its continued commitment to Canada's natural heritage contained in today's budget.

The budget, tabled today by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, contains measures that will protect ecologically sensitive land, conserve recreational fisheries and support family-oriented conservation.

We look forward to the implementation of the new National Conservation Plan, soon to be introduced, that will continue to connect Canadians to nature. The Government of Canada has a strong track record of preserving biodiversity in Canada and has allocated significant resources, towards this goal.  We believe this important framework will support and enhance our work to conserve our nation's rich biodiversity.

NCC is also pleased to see changes to tax provisions for land donations.  The carry-forward period for donations of ecologically-sensitive land will double from five to ten years.  This is a significant incentive to encourage private landowners to donate to organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Additional funding for the Recreation Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program will help anglers contribute to the improvement of fish habitat in communities across the country.

Finally, we salute measures to provide $3 million to support our partner, Earth Rangers Foundation and their family-oriented conservation activities.  Through its innovative programs, such as Bring Back the Wild, Earth Rangers is encouraging a new generation of Canadians to connect with nature by caring for our species at risk.

These measures complement the highly successful Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP), in which the government has already invested $245 million to date.  This is the largest contribution ever by a Canadian government to the conservation of private land.

Led and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the NACP has conserved more than 3,700 square kilometres since 2007, protecting habitat for more than 160 species at risk.  With contributions raised from other sources this has resulted in more than $600 million of real conservation action.

QUOTES:

"The promise of a National Conservation Plan and the continued support for nature contained in today's budget speak loudly to this government's commitment to conservation," said John Lounds, President  & CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  "The Nature Conservancy of Canada believes we are setting a global example of conservation through collaboration."

FACTS:

  • Established in 2007, with a $225 million investment by the Government of Canada, the Natural Areas Conservation Program is a successful public-private partnership. The program was extended with an additional $20 million in federal funding in Budget 2013.

  • Funding provided under the Natural Areas Conservation Program has been more than matched by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners, resulting in over $600 million in on-the-ground conservation from coast to coast.

  • The Nature Conservancy of Canada is delivering "results you can walk on" —82 percent of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of lands conserved under the Natural Areas Conservation Program.

ABOUT:
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.6 million acres (more than 1 million hectares), coast to coast.

LEARN MORE:
Visit: www.natureconservancy.ca
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SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

CONTACT:
Crystal Folkins
National Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy of Canada
Tel.: (416) 932.3202 ext 2241
Alt.: (647) 881.5375
Crystal.Folkins@natureconservancy.ca