Canada’s Nature Emergency
In Canada we are not immune to the global Nature Emergency. In 2017, WWF Canada found that since 1970 half of all monitored species in Canada have declined. Of those, half declined on average by more than 80%—a shocking collapse of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. As species decline, the capacity for ecosystems to provide clean air, water, food, climate stabilization, and other essential services declines as well. It is in all our best interests, and in the best interests of future generations, for Canada to take swift and large-scale action to protect and restore nature.
The recent report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) is the latest in a string of reports confirming that habitat degradation as a result of human land use change is the foremost driver of nature’s decline in terrestrial regions. This means protecting and restoring habitat must be the cornerstone strategy to solve this crisis. Protected and conserved areas are the primary policy tools to safeguard habitat, and evidence shows that, if they are well-designed and managed, they work. The good news is that Canada has focused significant effort and resources on protected areas in the last few years, which will help us deliver on our 2020 nature conservation commitments, and, hopefully, set the stage for scaled-up action beyond 2020.
Read the report, and our recommendations below: