Natural Scenery

Canada Delivers Biodiversity Leadership with 2030 Nature Strategy and Nature Accountability Act

(JUNE 21, 2024)—Last week, the Government of Canada announced its 2030 Nature Strategy to implement the country’s ambitious goals under the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed to at the fifteenth United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in November 2022. The 2030 Nature Strategy includes 23 targets covering ecosystem restoration and the conservation of 30% of Canada’s land and marine areas.

In addition, the Government of Canada tabled a bill—the Nature Accountability Act—that would enshrine in federal legislation the country’s commitment to protect nature for future generations. In particular, the proposed law guards against future backsliding, by establishing a requirement that all future Canadian governments must table in Parliament a national nature strategy (starting with Canada’s 2030 Nature Strategy), and report on its implementation, ensuring accountability and transparency. The next strategy and review are expected in 2030 and must be informed by an advisory committee with expert scientific and Indigenous input.

Canada hosts billions of breeding birds of hundreds of species—waterfowl, shorebirds, warblers, and sparrows–that migrate south to become key components of ecological communities in winter in the U.S., Mexico, and across Central and South America and the Caribbean. “As a nation, Canada has an overriding responsibility to ensure the future of bird populations across the hemisphere,” said Jeff Wells, Audubon’s VP of Boreal Conservation. “And Canada has stepped up to the challenge and become a world leader by adopting the Global Biodiversity Framework goal of protecting 30% of land and water by 2030. This pledge has been backed by the most significant conservation investments by any federal government in Canadian history,”

Audubon welcomes Canada’s framework for accountability and its willingness to lead by example, recognizing that the combination of this Nature Accountability Act and the 2030 Nature Strategy serve as an international model to deliver a coordinated approach to tackle biodiversity loss. The 2030 Nature Strategy and Nature Accountability Act follows Canada’s 2023 investment of $200 million in the newly created Global Biodiversity Framework Fund. Both the proposed law and the framework of accountability it establishes are further concrete demonstrations of Canada’s strong commitment to reversing biodiversity loss by 2050, both at home and across the world.

Audubon is excited to collaborate with Indigenous governments and organizations; provincial and territorial governments; and Canada’s federal government to build on Canada’s recent commitment of $800 million to support up to four large-scale, Indigenous-led conservation projects within Canada. Only through extensive support for Indigenous-led conservation and more ambitious leadership from Canada’s provincial and territorial governments can the country deliver on the 2030 National Strategy, which calls for doubling Canada’s current entire cumulative area of conservation in just six years*.

The global importance of these actions taken by the government of Canada cannot be overstated.  Protecting vast landscapes and marine areas in Canada impacts biodiversity on a grand scale and can be exemplified by the incredible number of migratory birds that breed there. As world leaders, diplomats, and conservationists head to the next Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP 16) in Colombia this fall, they will not be alone. Billions of birds will be making their long migratory journeys from breeding grounds across Canada to winter homes in South America to join them.

 

*Note: Per the 2030 National Strategy, Canada has conserved or protected nearly 14% (1,368,065 square kilometers) of its land, an area larger than the country of Peru. Further, Canada has conserved or protected nearly 15% of marine areas (842,828 square kilometers), an area almost the size of Pakistan.

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The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.

Media Contact: Rebecca Sentner, rebecca.sentner@audubon.org 


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