By: Jennifer Scott, National Communications Manager
In 2020 as we continue to push for not only greater protection for Canada’s wild spaces, but also stronger standards and better management practices, we are thrilled to report that in 2019 we celebrated many milestone conservation gains and unique corporate fundraising partnerships:
- Parks Canada heeded the outcry of Canadians and decided to forego the construction of the proposed Icefields Trail in Jasper National Park – a trail which would have paved 109 km directly through critical wildlife habitat.
- Eight new marine refuges were established off the coast of B.C. protecting nine of Howe Sound’s newly discovered Glass Sponge Reefs from bottom-contact fishing.
- Governments of Canada and Manitoba announced that ecologically important lands on Canadian Forces Base Shilo in south-central Manitoba will be formally recognized as a conservation area.
- The joint decision of Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador to not allow oil and gas activities in the proposed Laurentian Channel marine protected area (MPA) shows the government took into consideration the overwhelming public view, expressed by over 70,000 people, that oil and gas should not be permitted in this area.
- When shoppers purchased an item from Simons’ iFIV5 Creating an Echo eco-active wear collection, $5 was donated to CPAWS to support our conservation work on parks and protected areas and ensuring the responsible management of the nature within them, this initiative raised over $20,000!
- Chapman’s Ice Cream made a commitment to support our caribou program with their new Yukon ice cream line, specifically the Yukon Caribou Crunch Bars. This unique partnership also won Chapman’s two international awards at the 2019 International Ice Cream Consortium.
- New properties were acquired for Blue Mountain – Birch Cove Lakes wilderness park by the Halifax Regional Municipality, adding approximately 135 hectares to the park.
- The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that moving forward all federal marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada will now have to meet a minimum threshold of protection.The Minister also announced the final designation of the Laurentian Channel MPA, a rich ocean area off the southern Newfoundland coast, and the government’s intention to prohibit oil and gas activities, making it the largest fully protected MPA in Canada.
- CPAWS released its ocean report, Dare to be Deeper, commending Canada’s progress on marine protection and issued a new challenge for 2030.
- CPAWS released its parks report, Canada’s Nature Emergency, and called on Canada to champion a global goal of protecting and restoring half the earth, with a milestone target of protecting at least 30% of land and freshwater by 2030, and to commit to this at home.
- Canada successfully met – and significantly surpassed – its commitment to protect 10% of its ocean territory well in advance of the 2020 deadline with announcement of Tuvaijuittuq marine protected area in Nunavut. Bringing Canada’s total protected ocean territory to 13.82%!
- In a historic ceremony between the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation, the Parks Canada Agency and the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Thaidene Nëné Protected Area was established and includes a unique co-governing approach as to how the area will be managed. That’s an addition of 26,376 sq. km protected area in the Northwest Territories.
- Additionally, after nearly three decades of campaigning – which included an appearance before the Supreme Court of Canada – the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan was signed, officially protecting 83% of the Peel Watershed – that’s 55,8585 sq. km of new protected area in the Yukon!
- The Government of Canada and its partners announced up to $175 million would be committed for conservation projects across the country as part of the Canada Nature Fund, Pathway to Canada Target 1 Challenge. CPAWS projects will hopefully be among those awarded these funds.
- CPAWS released its first-ever climate report, Finding Common Ground: Six steps for tackling climate change and biodiversity loss in Canada, which provided a high-level roadmap for policy makers to harness ecosystem conservation and deliver win-win climate and biodiversity benefits by 2030.
- The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) signed a historic agreement with its Indigenous partners in the K’asho Got’ın̨ę district of the Northwest Territories to establish and collaboratively manage a new territorial protected area, Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta.
As 2019 draws to a close, the CPAWS team across the country is gearing up for another big year. The 2020 deadline for Canada to deliver on its international commitment to protect 17% of its land and freshwater is looming, and CPAWS is more than ready to help our country keep its promise and to plan beyond it to 30% by 2030!
Thank you for taking this journey with us, we can do what we do because of your support.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land and water, and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within them. In the past 50+ years, we’ve played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is to protect at least half of our public land and water so that future generations can experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness.