OTTAWA, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq,
Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic
Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, issued the
following statement marking International Day for Biodiversity.
"Each year on May 22nd, countries around the world celebrate
International Day for Biological Diversity to promote understanding and
awareness of the importance of biodiversity. In honour of this year's
theme of "Island Biodiversity", I am proud to say that Canada has a
long history of conserving important island ecosystems through the
creation of protected areas. Thousand Islands National Park was the
first to protect significant island ecosystems. Today, more than
one-third of Canada's 44 national parks and national park reserves are
located on islands.
"With the recently announced National Conservation Plan, we will
continue to build on this legacy of conservation work by taking
concrete action to conserve and protect Canada's rich natural heritage.
The Plan will achieve its vision and contribute to Canada's long-term
prosperity by advancing work in three priority areas: conserving
Canada's lands and waters, restoring Canada's ecosystems, and
connecting Canadians to nature. It will encourage on-the-ground action
and partnerships leading to tangible results.
"Since 2006, the Government has taken important steps to conserve and
restore our country's natural environment and connect Canadians to our
rich natural heritage. We have added an area nearly twice the size of
Vancouver Island to the network of federal protected areas, including
the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida
Heritage Site, the world's first protected area extending from the
mountain tops to the sea floor, and the Lake Superior National Marine
Conservation Area, the world's largest freshwater protected area.
"Furthermore, since 2006, we have created three National Wildlife Areas
in Nunavut, protecting 4,554 km2 of marine, coastal and terrestrial habitats including the world's
sanctuary for bowhead whales. Also, we have designated three new Marine
Protected Areas under the Oceans Act located in New Brunswick, in
British Columbia, and in the Beaufort Sea.
"The Government of Canada also continues to play a major part in the
promotion and protection of biodiversity internationally. Canada has
long been a champion of effective implementation of the United Nations
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). We continue to be a proud
host of the CBD Secretariat in Montreal, a privilege we've had for more
than 16 years.
"As chair for the Arctic Council, Canada will continue to advance
biodiversity and conservation in the Arctic region, including
advancement of the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative. Along with our
Norwegian partners, we will be co-chairing an Arctic Biodiversity
Congress to discuss status and trends of Arctic biodiversity and
encourage dialogue among industry, scientists, Aboriginal people and
policy makers on how best to ensure conservation and sustainable use in
Canadians can learn more about Environment Canada's work on biodiversity.
Canadians can also learn more about the EcoAction Community Funding Program and the National Conservation Plan.
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment