Ottawa - Sierra Club Canada Foundation is pleased to see a substantial commitment to protecting nature in the 2018-2019 Budget. As part of the Green Budget Coalition, Sierra Club Canada Foundation and 18 other leading environmental groups have been pushing for Canada to make a significant commitment to protecting wild spaces. Today's budget makes a ground-breaking commitment of $1.3 Billion over 5 years for protecting land and endangered species.
“This is outstanding. Canada has committed to parks and protected areas at home, and, simultaneously, stepped up to global leadership by meeting its commitments to Aichi Biodiversity Targets," according to Dr. PearlAnn Reichwein of Sierra Club Canada Foundation Edmonton Group and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport. “Minister McKenna and the government are to be congratulated for delivering on Canada's commitment. We look forward to collaboration to achieve the much-needed protections.”
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets, developed under the Convention on Biodiversity, provide strategic goals for nations to protect biodiversity and enhance benefits for people. They include a commitment to protect at least 17% of land and freshwater and 10% of our oceans by 2020.
“Our Watch for Wildlife program aims to reduce collisions with wildlife on our expanding network of roads and other transportation networks,” states Wanda Baxter, Watch for Wildlife Program Manager. “Serious, strategic investment is needed inside and outside protected areas to enable habitat connectivity and collision mitigation, both of which are essential for the continued survival of endangered species and healthy wildlife populations. Hopefully this significant investment in nature will include moves to protect wildlife in and out of parks."
“Last summer, we witnessed unprecedented deaths of right whales right here on our doorstep. We just heard that not one new right whale calf has been sighted during aerial surveys conducted in the southern birthing areas, and the window for this year’s calving season is quickly closing,” states Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director of Sierra Club Canada Foundation. “We are really going to have to step up our game so the future of the right whales and places they need to survive like the Gulf of St. Lawrence are truly protected. This Budget − and the $167 million dedicated to whale population recovery − will help take us toward reaching this goal.”
“Sierra Club was founded on the principle that the health of nature and people are intertwined. For many years, we have not seen this reflected in our spending. I am very proud today to see the deep concern of many Canadians to protect nature in our federal Budget,“ says David Snider, Vice-President of the Board of Directors, Sierra Club Canada Foundation.
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Backgrounder: Green Budget Coalition 2018 Budget Recommendations