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Protecting biodiversity and expanding Canada’s network of protected areas

by ahnationtalk on December 23, 2016330 Views

Candidates sought for National Advisory Panel on conservation and biodiversity

December 23, 2016

Today, the Honourable Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, and the Honourable Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, Shannon Phillips, reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to expanding its network of protected areas and protecting its biodiversity.

Canada committed that at least 17 per cent of land and inland water will be conserved by 2020, through networks of protected areas and other conservation measures. Federal, provincial and territorial governments are working together to fulfill that commitment and invitations to Indigenous groups have been extended to participate.

As part of this initiative, applications are now being accepted for a National Advisory Panel that will provide advice to governments on solutions for protecting biodiversity, including how best to measure progress. It will be comprised of individuals reflecting a broad spectrum of perspectives including Indigenous groups, municipalities, non-profit and private sector organizations, youth and others.

Canadians are encouraged to get involved by submitting an expression of interest to be a member of the National Advisory Panel. Successful applicants will be announced in February 2017.

Protected areas are vital to Canada’s ecosystems and play a fundamental role in safeguarding habitat for wildlife, mitigating the impacts of climate change and providing opportunities for tourism, recreation and connecting with nature.


“By working together with Indigenous groups, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders, we can meet the 17 per cent biodiversity land target for Canada by 2020. As we prepare to come together as a nation to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, our government will build a natural legacy through a co-ordinated network of parks and conservation areas, so that Canada’s biodiversity will be protected for generations to come. I invite Canadians to apply to the National Advisory Panel and encourage people across our country to become engaged in protecting Canada’s wondrous natural spaces.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada

“The Government of Alberta is proud to co-lead and collaborate with our parks and protected areas leaders, along with Indigenous communities across the country on this important initiative. Earlier this year we signalled we are looking seriously at what 17 per cent would mean in Alberta and are pleased to be part of a national effort to ensure important natural landscapes are protected. We encourage all those with an interest in participating in this endeavour to put their names forward to represent all Canadians on the National Advisory Panel. Together we can achieve our national target for the well-being of future generations of Canadians.”

The Honourable Shannon Phillips
Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks and the Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

Quick Facts

  • Parks Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks are co-leading the conservation initiative (land and inland water component) to recommend best practices and indicators for measuring progress towards implementing an efficient network of protected areas and conserve at least 17 per cent of Canada’s land areas and inland water by 2020.
  • The co-leads are working with representatives from the governments of Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Environment and Climate Change Canada, municipalities and invitations have been extended to Indigenous groups.
  • In addition to the land and inland water target, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Parks Canada are working jointly on the marine component of the commitment to conserve at least 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas by 2020.
  • Based on the most current data, 10.6 per cent of land and 0.9 per cent of marine areas of Canada are protected by the provinces, territories, the federal government, Indigenous groups, and non-profit and private sector organizations.

For a statement of qualifications and details on this conservation initiative, please visit:

Associated Document

Backgrounder: 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada

Related Links



Convention on Biological Diversity – Targets

Marine Targets – DFO

Alberta Environment and Parks

Parks Canada


Caitlin Workman
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

Jeremy Van Loon
Alberta Environment and Parks
Press Secretary


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