Canada pledges over $1 billion to protect nature and wildlife
The Canadian Government's new financial budget includes plans to invest $1.3 billion to preserve the country’s land, oceans and wildlife.
“Canada is one of the most beautiful places on Earth”, said Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
“It’s up to all of us to help keep it that way”.
He was commenting on the Canadian Government’s new plans to invest $1.3 billion to preserve the country’s land, oceans and wildlife. Mr Morneau described the new funding as “one of the largest commitments to conservation in Canada’s history”.
The financial budget, announced yesterday, sets out federal spending for the coming year and covers all areas of the economy.
The new conservation commitments are broken down to include $800 million over five years to support new protected areas, increase capacity for national parks and help at-risk species. The government will also use the funding to work with Indigenous communities to establish a network of new conservation areas.
An additional $500 million will be used to create a ‘Nature Fund’ designed to support new conservation partnerships.
Environmental groups responded with enthusiasm at the news. Éric Hébert-Daly, who heads the Canadian Parks And Wilderness Society, said: “This is an investment in the future of our country, which will deliver huge returns”.
“Investing in protected areas will conserve Canada’s wildlife, water, and wilderness, provide more protected spaces for healthy outdoor activities, and create jobs in communities across the country by growing sustainable nature and culture-based tourism economies”.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation, one of the country’s leading environmental organisations, said that it was “looking forward to working with the federal government to target this funding to achieve effective conservation for species at risk, fish habitat, and marine mammals”.
It also praised the establishment of the new fund with its CEO, Rick Bates, commenting: “This collaborative approach will ensure optimal results for conservation”.
“The government’s commitment to work in partnership with all sectors through the new Nature Fund, and other initiatives in this budget is a great step forward”.
Photo: Neil Rosenstech