National Conservation PlanJune 24, 2014
Protecting Canada’s beautiful natural heritage is one of the most important legacies we can leave to future generations. Since taking office in 2006, the Government of Canada has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to combat climate change. As a result of Government actions, GHGs have declined five per cent since 2005, from 737Mt in 2005 to 699Mt in 2012. This is notable, especially considering that from 1990 to 2005, total emissions grew from 591Mt to 737Mt. While more needs to be done to meet the Government’s commitment to reduce GHGs by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020, the Government is also acting in other ways to protect our environment.
Enhanced conservation of our natural areas is one of those ways. On May 15th, the Government of Canada announced $252 million for the National Conservation Plan. This Plan will conserve Canada’s natural areas through conservation and stewardship by providing an additional $100 million to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to secure ecologically sensitive lands, $37 million to strengthen marine and coastal conservation and $3.2 million to establish a complete national inventory of conserved areas in Canada. In addition, the Plan will invest $50 million to restore wetlands and another $50 million to support voluntary actions to restore and conserve species and their habitats. The National Conservation Plan will also include $3 million for the Earth Rangers program to encourage environmental stewardship amongst Canadian youth and to expand family-oriented conservation programming.
The National Conservation Plan will build upon actions the Government has already taken to protect Canada’s natural environment. Since 2006, nearly $600 million has been invested to restore Canada’s waters, including oceans and lakes and over $500 million has been spent to protect Canada’s diverse species and help species at risk to recover. In addition, the Plan will invest $100 million on top of the $245 million that has already been invested to help the Nature Conservancy of Canada conserve ecologically sensitive lands under the National Areas Conservation Program. These investments have resulted in the addition of more than 4,000 square kilometres of ecologically sensitive private lands, and an increase in federally protected areas nearly twice the size of Vancouver Island.
Closer to home, $140 million over 10 years has been committed to create Canada’s first national near-urban park in the Rouge Valley in Ontario. In Wellington County and Halton Hills, five projects have been funded under the Government’s Habitat Stewardship Program. This funding has allowed Wildlife Preservation Canada to assist in the recovery of the endangered loggerhead shrike and the conservation of associated alvars (sensitive grasslands) and short grassland species. The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program has provided funds to restore fish habitat in Aberfoyle’s Mill Creek.
The protection of our environment is one of the most important legacies we can leave our children. That is why your federal government continues to invest in conservation efforts and environmental protection.
To find out more about the National Conservation Plan, please visit: http://goo.gl/MBJX2W.
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