Peterborough, ON – With the world coming to Montréal in less than three weeks for the preeminent global biodiversity and nature conference, the Government of Canada continues to invest in conserving and protecting nature. Nature-based solutions can achieve multiple benefits by preserving ecosystems, supporting nature recovery, and simultaneously storing carbon.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, has announced up to $109 million in funding over five years for forty projects across Canada from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. The latest tranche of investments is part of the $631 million that the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund will distribute over ten years (2021–2031).
The announcement includes the Kawartha Land Trust, which will receive up to $1.7 million dollars over five years to secure land made up of carbon-rich ecosystems, such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands with extensive biodiversity in Ontario. Of the forty new projects, twenty-four are place-based and will conserve about 32,000 hectares, restore up to 5,500 hectares, and enhance the management of about 460 hectares of wetlands, grasslands, and forest areas.
By working together in partnership with the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and the private and non-profit sectors to protect nature, the Government of Canada and Canadians are making progress on recovering species at risk, while restoring and protecting the habitats that support Canada’s incredible biodiversity. Through actions like these, Canada is working to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and achieve a full recovery for nature by 2050.
The Nature Smart Climate Solution Fund projects that were announced are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 85,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The projects will conserve and protect ecosystems that provide critically important habitat for Canada’s wildlife, including migratory birds and species at risk. They will also contribute to Canada’s commitment to conserve twenty-five percent of land and inland waters in Canada by 2025 and thirty percent by 2030.
This is just one of the measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it invites some 196 countries to Montréal for the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, December 7–19, 2022. COP15 presents an opportunity for Canada to show its leadership in taking actions to conserve and restore nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world.
“Canada matters in the global fight to conserve and protect biodiversity. We are home to twenty-four percent of the world’s wetlands, twenty-five percent of temperate rainforest areas, and twenty-eight percent of remaining boreal forests. These ecosystems are globally significant as they absorb carbon, mitigate against the impacts of climate change, and protect biodiversity. But we won’t stop there. We wish to see the world adopt Canadians’ ambition on nature conservation, which is what will drive Canada’s position at the Nature COP in Montréal in December.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“We are so lucky in the Kawarthas to live where people have been caring for the land for generations, leaving a lasting natural legacy for today. This funding will allow us to reach out to key landowners across our landscape to help them understand the part their land plays in our local ecosystem. We will work with all who are willing to secure important carbon stores and enhance land management so that our local lands can have a global impact.” – John Kintare, Executive Director, Kawartha Land Trust
- Nature-based solutions are defined by the United Nations Environment Assembly as “actions to protect, conserve, restore, sustainably use and manage natural or modified terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems, which address social, economic and environmental challenges effectively and adaptively, while simultaneously providing human well-being, ecosystem services and resilience and biodiversity benefits.”
- In 2021, the Government of Canada committed to invest $4 billion over ten years (2021–2031) in the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, including $631 million in the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund.
- The Government of Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan committed an additional $780 million to Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund