Ottawa: Tues. Feb. 27, 2018: The Government of Canada has made a major investment in protecting our lands and waters for future generations. The 2018 federal budget includes a $1.3 billion allocation to meet Canada’s international commitment to protect 17 per cent of its lands and 10 percent of waters by 2020 and points to the importance of Indigenous partnerships in achieving its conservation goals.
Valerie Courtois, the director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, made the following statement:
“Canada has made a significant investment in protecting the lands and waters we all depend on. We are encouraged by the recognition that Indigenous Peoples will play a central role in reaching Canada’s goals, and we look forward to learning more about how they will support and collaborate with Indigenous Peoples in planning, creating and managing new protected areas.”
“Indigenous governments across the country are creating land use plans, identifying protected areas and proposing national parks. Dedicated funds are needed to support more land use planning and accelerate Canada’s progress toward the goal of protecting at least 17 per cent of lands in the next two years.”
Indigenous governments are taking a leadership role in protecting lands and waters across the country, from Gwaii Haanas off the coast of British Columbia to the Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador.
Many Indigenous governments have embraced land use planning as a tool for determining the future of their territories within a context of cultural responsibility. Through extensive community meetings, interviews and data analysis, communities identify which lands to protect.
Indigenous-led efforts–including land use planning and creating and managing protected areas—has already resulted in the establishment of national parks, tribal parks and wildlife areas. These protected areas are often established in partnership with Crown governments, including Torngat Mountains National Park, Tursujuq Park, the proposed Thaidene National Park Reserve and other lands.
There is broad public support for Indigenous conservation. Three out of four Canadians support Indigenous communities creating and managing Indigenous protected areas, according to a survey conducted by the Earnscliffe Strategy Group.
Sean Durkan: firstname.lastname@example.org (613 851 2151)