TORONTO, April 24, 2019 /CNW/ - It's in our nature to conserve our land and water, protect our wildlife, and save the places we love. But the world's nature is in decline, with wilderness disappearing at a rapid rate and wildlife populations falling by 60 percent since 1970. That's why Canada is taking action, including by making the single-largest investment to protect nature in Canadian history, through Budget 2018, and aiming to double the amount of nature protected across Canada.
Today, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Toronto–St. Paul's, Carolyn Bennett, announced that the Government of Canada has invested $967,000 to protect 2400 hectares of nature in the Georgian Bay watershed.
The project, led by Georgian Bay Land Trust, aims to protect wetlands and mature forests that are important habitat for a variety of species at risk, including the Blanding's turtle, the monarch butterfly, and the little brown bat. The majority of the new protected area has been mostly untouched by humans for more than one hundred years.
The federal investment is part of a broader effort that has successfully protected almost all private lands in an 11,000-hectare watershed south of Twelve Mile Bay. It connects 48 kilometres of Great Lakes coastal habitats and provides protection from development. It also provides a northward corridor by connecting two existing north-south coastal corridors.
The new protection will count toward Canada's goal of doubling the amount of nature protected in our lands and oceans.
The announcement comes as Canada is set to host an international summit with nature champions from around the world—on April 24 and 25, in Montréal—to ramp up collaboration and increase ambition for protecting the world's nature.
"The work of the Georgian Bay Land Trust and its partners is a great example of the leadership and collaboration needed to protect more of Canada's nature. By working together, we can double the amount of nature we're protecting from coast to coast to coast. This special place in Ontario will be preserved for Canadians now and for future generations."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"This project enshrines the largest private landholding on the eastern Georgian Bay coast as a permanent sanctuary for nature. It protects the aquatic and terrestrial habitats of one of the most diverse and ecologically intact places on the coast."
– Bill Lougheed, Executive Director, Georgian Bay Land Trust
"We are so grateful for the truly important work of the Georgian Bay Land Trust protecting the natural beauty and health of this truly iconic part of Canada for generations to come."
– Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Toronto–St. Paul's
- From April 24 to 25, 2019, Canada will be hosting the Nature Champions Summit, in Montréal. Nature champions from all walks of life, including major philanthropists, business leaders, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, Indigenous leaders, and environment ministers from around the world will be coming together to build a high-ambition coalition and drive global nature protection forward.
- The new $500 million Canada Nature Fund will be matched by partners who will contribute an additional $500 million to raise at least $1 billion toward the conservation of Canada's nature.
- The Canada Nature Fund supports the protection of Canada's ecosystems, landscapes, biodiversity, and species at risk.
- The Government of Canada is committed to doubling the amount of protected nature in our lands and waters across Canada.
- Globally, Canada has 20 percent of freshwater resources, 24 percent of wetlands, 25 percent of temperate rainforest area, and 33 percent of remaining boreal forest.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Sabrina Kim, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-743-7138, [email protected]; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free), [email protected]