Since 1970, nearly half of Canada’s monitored species have declined and nearly half of those have declined by over 80%. This catastrophic collapse has been linked to habitat degradation and land-use changes. When we lose natural spaces and biodiversity we are also losing the services they provide to our society such as carbon sequestration, flood and erosion control, clean air, water, and food. Protecting and restoring these natural spaces needs to be prioritized. The following are a few strategies recommended in the report for addressing this catastrophic loss:
- That the government recognize that this is an emergency and severe threat to all Canadians;
- That the government approve and complete all pending proposals for protected areas;
- That the Government of Canada should advocate for restoring half the earth and protecting 30% of land and inland waters by 2030 in the next UN Convention on Biological Diversity AND undertake these efforts in Canada;
- That the 30% target by 2030 be implemented with inclusive regional planning that includes Indigenous-led land use planning and that is informed by science and Indigenous knowledge to ensure protected area networks are comprehensive and representative of the biodiversity that needs to be protected;
- That all levels of government make funding commitments to the 2030 targets – this means increased, sustained funds to support conservation initiatives.
Much of this work requires collaboration across all levels of government and different environmental sectors. Green infrastructure is a part of the solution by providing habitat for rapidly declining wildlife and providing essential services for communities.
To read the full report and the other recommendations for addressing this nature emergency, you can find it here.