The Government of Canada has announced up to $796 million in funding to support provinces, territories, and other partners as they work to protect and conserve lands and freshwater.

“To address the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, we must all work together—provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and the federal government—to protect and conserve more nature,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change and minister responsible for Parks Canada.

“Budget 2021’s historic $2.3 billion investment in nature conservation includes $796 million to work with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, and other partners to do just that, including through the establishment of new bilateral nature agreements,” added Wilkinson. “By working together to protect nature across the country, we are ensuring a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”

The federal government’s investment includes up to $210 million over five years to support interested provinces and territories to develop bilateral nature agreements with the federal government. The announcement also includes $209 million to protect priority ecosystems and $377 million to support recovery actions for priority species such as boreal caribou, Atlantic salmon, and Pacific salmon.

“Protecting and recovering aquatic species at risk is critical to maintaining Canada’s biodiversity and healthy marine and freshwater ecosystems,” said Bernadette Jordan, minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “The funding announced today includes an investment of $173 million over five years to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the largest investment allocated to aquatic species at risk to date. Most importantly, it will leverage the expertise of Indigenous, provincial, and territorial partners and support other collaborators across Canada to take in-the-water action to protect and recover the aquatic species at risk that Canadians hold dear.”

Bilateral nature agreements will be collaboratively developed with provinces and territories to advance shared interests in a more integrated approach to conserving nature, establish more protected areas, and protect and recover species at risk and their habitat. This is while advancing Indigenous reconciliation. The agreements will also help support a green recovery by ensuring the coordinated delivery of nature-based solutions to climate change.

Header Image Credit: Credit: Garry Donaldson.

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