Hear a quick summary overview by the Endangered Ecosystem Alliance’s Executive Director Ken Wu about some of the progress for protected areas expansion policies and funding that were announced from Canada and several provinces during the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal between Dec.7 to 19, 2022:
– Canada committed $800 million in conservation financing support for Indigenous planning for new protected areas in the Great Bear Sea (Northern Shelf marine region in BC), in the Northwest Territories, in northern Nunavut, and in the James Bay lowlands in Ontario.
– BC’s new Premier David Eby committed to the national protected area target of protecting 30% by 2030 of the province’s land area, to develop conservation financing mechanisms to support First Nations Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA’s) and to prioritize protection for the most biodiverse areas. Still missing is the federal-provincial funding package, the BC Nature Agreement, that would fuel the whole thing.
– Quebec promised $650 million in funding over 7 years to expand protected areas via private land acquisition, support for Indigenous protection initiatives, and for endangered species habitat protection.
– The Yukon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also announced protected areas expansion.
– The federal government promised they would legally-enshrine the 30% by 2030 protection target via an accountability act, giving a legal basis for the federal government to push the provinces to get on board (in most cases, the provinces are the conservation laggards as most have not committed to the federal targets nor to provide related funding).
– Ecosystem-based targets (protection targets for all ecosystems) are still needed, otherwise government’s will continue to skirt around saving the most contested areas most coveted by industries. An Endangered Ecosystems Act where targets are devised by science and informed by Indigenous knowledge is ultimately needed.