Canada, which is an ocean nation with the longest coastline in the world, is joining other countries to advocate for international action to increase conservation and protection of oceans by 2030.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan, recently announced Canada has joined more than 20 other countries in the Global Ocean Alliance. The Alliance’s goal is to advocate with international partners for ambitious ocean action to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans through the establishment of marine protected areas and other effective area-based marine conservation measures by 2030.

“Our oceans provide a wealth of opportunity when approached from the position of sustainability and environmental stewardship. Canada is proud to join the Global Ocean Alliance, working alongside like-minded countries to advocate for our shared vision of sustainable, healthy oceans around the world,” said Minister Jordan. “We have made exceptional progress on protecting our own waters, and it is time to move the goal post ahead and reach even farther. Canadians expect our government to be a global leader in environmental protection, and this partnership is another way we will use our voice, leadership, and resources to protect our oceans and make a difference around the world.”

Through the alliance Canada joins a growing number of like-minded countries that will advocate internationally for 30 per cent conservation by 2030 around the world. The federal government will work with other countries toward the adoption of new ambitious global biodiversity targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity at the 15th Conference of Parties in Kunming, China in 2021.

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Since 2015, the Government of Canada has worked in partnership with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and environmental and industry organizations to increase the protection of our oceans. Canada aimed to conserve 10 per cent of the country’s marine and coastal areas by 2020 and has already surpassed this goal, reaching nearly 14 per cent by August 2019. Canada’s efforts, including the establishment of new marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, have also contributed to the international 10 per cent marine conservation target ahead of the 2020 timeline.

“Our government is working together with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, environmental organizations and industry to advance conservation on Canada’s lands and waters. Together we have made great progress and achieved the 10 per cent global target for marine conservation ahead of the 2020 commitment,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Recognizing we have a responsibility to Canadians, the world, and future generations we are committed to redoubling our efforts to protect the biodiversity of our ocean and support the sustainability of coastal communities. Focused and coordinated action by countries around the world is the only way to stem the decline in biodiversity and rise to the challenge of climate change.”

To date, approximately 22 countries have joined the Alliance: Belgium; Belize; Cabo Verde; Canada; Costa Rica; Croatia; Fiji; Finland; Gabon; Germany; Italy; Kenya; Luxembourg; Monaco; Nigeria; Palau; Portugal; Senegal; Seychelles; Sweden; the United Kingdom; and, Vanuatu.

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