A Major Accomplishment to Protect Canada's Rich Natural Heritage for Present and Future Generations
OTTAWA, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of Parliament across the country today celebrated the launch of the National Conservation Plan (NCP). The Plan will provide a more coordinated approach to conservation efforts across the country with an emphasis on enabling Canadians to conserve and restore lands and waters in and around their communities, and making it easier for citizens living in cities to connect with nature. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Harper on May 15, 2014.
The NCP, which was a commitment made in the 2013 Speech from the Throne, includes significant additional investments over five years to secure ecologically sensitive lands, support voluntary conservation and restoration actions, and strengthen marine and coastal conservation. In addition, it includes new initiatives designed to restore wetlands and to encourage Canadians to connect with nature close to home through protected areas and green spaces located in or near urban areas.
The Plan will expand opportunities for partners, including municipalities, environmental interest groups, hunters and anglers, landowners and community groups, to take practical actions to safeguard the land and water around them in the three following priority areas:
- Conserving Canada's lands and waters.
- Restoring Canada's ecosystems.
- Connecting Canadians to nature.
The NCP is one of the many initiatives the Government has undertaken to protect Canada's natural heritage for the benefit of future generations. It complements significant efforts, including creating new parks, protecting ecologically sensitive lands, protecting species at risk and their habitat, and improving water quality.
Since 2006, the Government has:
- made a six-fold expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, considered to be the most significant conservation achievement in a generation;
- secured almost 4,000 km² of ecologically sensitive private lands;
- added an area nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas;
- introduced legislation to formally protect Nááts'ihch'oh National Park Reserve—Canada's 44th National Park.
- When combined with the adjacent Nahanni National Park Reserve, the size of the two parks totals almost 35,000 square kilometers, making it the third largest protected area in Parks Canada's system.
- introduced legislation to create the Rouge National Urban Park and designated three additional marine protected areas;
- invested over $38 million for 1006 EcoAction projects that engage Canadians in direct environmental activities;
- taken steps to improve water quality in the Great Lakes, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Winnipeg, rehabilitated recreational fisheries habitat, and are working to clean up contaminated sites.
"Our Government is committed to working closely with Canadians so that together we can provide effective stewardship of Canada's rich natural heritage for present and future generations. The National Conservation Plan is a major accomplishment when it comes to ensuring the sustainability of our nation's greatest resources, contributing to our country's long-term prosperity and furthering Canada's position as a world leader in conservation."
– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information: Ted Laking, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Environment Canada, 819-934-8008; Environment Canada's Twitter page; Environment Canada's Facebook page