Parry Sound, ON – Canadians depend on nature for clean water to drink and air to breathe, food to eat, and quality spaces to enjoy the outdoors. Conserving nature is vital to protect species at risk, combat climate change, and build a strong, sustainable economy.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Julie Dabrusin, attended a turtle release at the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault. At the event, she announced that the biosphere reserve is receiving more than $585,000 over three years from Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy. These funds will support the biosphere reserve’s biodiversity conservation efforts and support Canada’s goal to conserve 25 percent of lands and inland waters by 2025, working toward 30 percent of each by 2030.

For the duration of the project, partners will work together to restore, maintain, and enhance biodiversity conservation in the buffer zones surrounding the core protected areas of the biosphere reserve, which encompasses the eastern shore of Georgian Bay and stretches approximately 175 kilometres from the Severn River to the French River in Ontario. It is hoped that, in the coming years, managed areas within the biosphere reserve’s buffer zone will be recognized as Other Effective Conservation Measures (OCEMs), which will allow them to become part of Canada’s conservation network.

The Government of Canada’s push to protect more nature comes as it prepares to welcome the world for the 15th United Nations biodiversity conference in Montréal, Quebec, from December 7 to 19, 2022. This landmark conference is a chance for Canada to show its leadership alongside international partners in taking actions to conserve nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world, done in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. Enhancing UNESCO-designated biosphere reserves, such as the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, is a vital contributing action.

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“Biosphere reserves are a model for how communities can connect with nature in healthier and more sustainable ways. They inspire and empower Canadians to work together to address global challenges such as biodiversity loss and climate change. By investing in biosphere reserves in Canada, like the iconic Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, we are advancing important conservation work in areas rich with cultural and biological diversity.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

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