Government of Canada releases the 2012 Canadian Nature Survey

OTTAWA, June 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Minister Aglukkaq announced the release of a report on results of the 2012 Canadian Nature Survey. The results clearly demonstrate the importance Canadians place on spending time in nature and the significant contribution that nature-related activities make to the national economy.

The survey was undertaken in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments. The survey was the first of its kind in Canada in over 15 years and the first truly national survey to collect information on the importance of nature from all 13 provinces and territories. Results from the survey will be useful to all levels of government in making conservation, land-use planning, and wildlife management decisions. Results will also be of use to researchers, educators, non-governmental conservation organizations, and sectors associated with outdoor activity such as recreation, leisure and tourism.

The survey results provide insights on the importance of nature to Canadians that will help inform policy and program decisions, including initiatives under the National Conservation Plan (NCP). The NCP 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.

Quick Facts

  • The results of the survey are statistically representative of all Canadian adults to within +/-2 percentage points.  Canadian adults age 18 and over were randomly selected to complete the survey between Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. More than 24,000 responses were received, representing all 13 provinces and territories.
  • 89 percent of all Canadian adults participated in at least one of over 30 different nature-based activities, with the most popular being picnicking or relaxing in nature (71 percent nationally), followed by reading or viewing nature media (66 percent); hiking, climbing, horseback riding (64 percent); and gardening or landscaping with plants (51 percent).
  • 4.6 million Canadians (almost 19 percent of all adults) gave money for donations or membership dues to nature or conservation organizations.
  • Canadian adults made an estimated $41.3 billion in expenditures for nature-based activities in the 12 months prior to completing the survey, with the greatest amount dedicated to non-motorized, non-consumptive activities.


"Our Government recognizes that our natural heritage is intrinsically tied to our identity as Canadians. That's why we recently launched the National Conservation Plan, which will help connect Canadians to nature. The 2012 Canadian Nature Survey reaffirms the importance of our Government's action to conserve, protect and restore the environment.
— The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council

Associated Link

To see the results of the survey, please visit

SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information:


Amanda Gordon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of the Environment

Media Relations
Environment Canada

Environment Canada's Twitter page

Environment Canada's Facebook page


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