Sierra Club Canada Continues Call for Rights of Nature to be Included in Nature Accountability Act

Media Statement: For Immediate Release, June 14th, 2024

Nature Accountability Act Canada page picture of a whale swimming in the oceanIn response to today’s announcement regarding Canada’s nature plan Sierra Club Canada continues its call for Rights of Nature to be included in the plan.

National Conservation Committee chair Ole Hendrickson, Canada’s former national focal point for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s science body, says “Section 4 of the Nature Accountability Act, that calls for consideration of Indigenous knowledge, should be amended so that the Minister also considers rights of nature in the national biodiversity strategy.”

“We are seeing that the measures we are taking to protect biodiversity are not working. While we are happy to see some work towards this end in today’s announcement we had hoped to see more. Because we need ambition not only to safeguard biodiversity but to encourage it,” says Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director at Sierra Club Canada.

“To that end we continue our call for the Rights of Nature to be included in Canada’s nature plan – something many of our supporters called for by sending messages to the Environment Minister.”

The Sierra Club Canada is however hopeful the accountability bill will mandate the knowledge of independent experts be considered in decision making and hopeful that the following requirement would lead to the consideration of Indigenous perspectives on the Rights of Nature in decision making:

“For example, the Minister would be required to consider Indigenous Knowledge as well as the rights affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” – 2030 Nature Strategy and Nature Accountability Bill.

More background on this topic is included below.

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Sierra Club Canada Foundation Submission on Finalizing Canada’s 2030 National Biodiversity Strategy and the Milestone Document on Canada’s 2030 National Biodiversity Strategy (Submitted February 9, 2024).

Find out more about Rights of Nature as a concept.

We also have a podcast episode, The Rights of Nature – It’s Weird Not to Acknowledge Them, detailing this concept which you can listen to.