Canada – International Day for Biological Diversity 2021: statement from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
North Vancouver, British Columbia
“Today, the world marks International Day for Biological Diversity, and this year’s theme is ‘We’re part of the solution #ForNature.’
“In Canada, we take great pride in our nature and wildlife. Nature sparks the Canadian imagination, even more so during these difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more Canadians are finding a source of relief and inspiration in their parks and green spaces.
“Biodiversity loss and climate change are intrinsically connected. While nature is at risk because of climate change in Canada and around the world, nature is also a critical ally in the fight against climate change.
“Today, I am very proud to reaffirm Canada’s continued commitment to be part of the solution to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. We know that one of the best ways to address both is to conserve and restore nature.
“For this reason, we have set a goal to conserve 25 percent of Canada’s lands and waters by 2025 by adding up to 1 million square kilometres of protected and conserved areas, and to work towards conserving 30 percent by 2030. In order to meet these ambitious targets, we are working closely together with Indigenous groups, provinces and territories, and other stakeholders. We urge other countries to commit to a global conservation target that will aim at protecting 30 percent of the world’s land and 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.
“There is an incredible opportunity lying ahead to build back better. Investing in nature, and its protection, is among the most affordable and rewarding climate actions governments can take. Through Budget 2021, Canada has committed to investing $4.1 billion to protect nature. We are also pursuing nature-based solutions, such as planting two billion trees and restoring wetlands to store carbon and simultaneously support biodiversity, including species at risk.
“Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems worldwide are vital to our wealth, health and well-being. This coming year will be a key year for the environment, with milestone events like the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26). Only by working together as a global community will we successfully protect our natural legacy for generations to come.”
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)