Today, in alignment with World Water Day, 15 insurance companies have joined forces with a leading conservation organization to launch Nature Force — a landmark private investment in natural solutions to mitigate flood risks to urban communities.

As Canadian communities continue to grapple with extreme weather events, Ducks Unlimited Canada, a leading environmental non-profit organization specializing in wetland conservation, is launching this partnership to explore the development of nature-based solutions (often referred to as “green infrastructure”). This includes actively restoring and managing natural resources for positive outcomes for climate resilience, biodiversity, and water quality.

“Healthy and interconnected wetland systems are phenomenally good at absorbing significant water flows and reducing flooding, while providing critical habitat to hundreds of species of wildlife, sequestering carbon, and filtering contaminants from our watersheds,” said Mark Gloutney, national director of science for Ducks Unlimited Canada.

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Mark Gloutney, national director of science for Ducks Unlimited Canada.

This is not news to program partners Aviva Canada, CNA Canada Definity, Gallagher, Gore Mutual, HUB International, Intact, Navacord, Northbridge, SGI, Travelers Canada, Trisura, Wawanesa, Westland and Zurich.  Members of the Canadian insurance industry have been pro-actively investing in predictive modelling tools, research, and policy advocacy in the area of climate resiliency and flood attenuation for several years.

“What sets the Nature Force initiative apart is that we’re coming together as the leaders of the Canadian insurance industry and funding community-based natural infrastructure projects in urban adjacent areas and upstream watersheds in the Fraser Delta area of British Columbia and the highly settled regions of Ontario and Quebec,” said Tina Osen, president of HUB International Canada.

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The project planning process will commence in April of 2022 in conjunction with public and private sector partners and local stakeholders. Indices and modelling tools developed by academic partners and the Ducks Unlimited Canada research institute will be used to prioritize projects based on considerations like flood risk and impacted population size.

“We are so pleased to be able to participate in this initiative with such an impressive collective of forward-thinking insurance organizations” says Larry Kaumeyer, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada. “Together I am confident we’ll be able to influence landscape level change while showcasing the value of wetland conservation as a critical part of the solution for climate change adaptation.”

For further information, visit thenatureforce.com

Featured image of wetlands in Quebec by Ducks Unlimited.

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