Survey on Municipal Involvement in Canada's Target on Protected and Conserved Areas

Survey on Municipal Involvement in Canada’s Biodiversity Target on Protected and Conserved Areas

Canada has a global reputation for its beautiful wilderness and natural spaces.  We have made a commitment to protect these spaces and become a world leader in conservation through Canada Target 1.  Canada Target 1 aims to protect and conserve at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters, and 10% of coastal and marine areas, by 2020 to help stem the loss of biodiversity.  At the end of 2015, 10.6% of Canada’s terrestrial area was recognized as protected.

Reaching Canada Target 1 will take a pan-Canadian effort, involving many government departments, Indigenous groups, communities and organizations across Canada.  Municipalities have a role to play too.  Currently municipal parks and protected areas are not included in Canada’s report to the international conservation community.  ICLEI Canada explored the potential of municipal involvement in Canada’s Target 1 through an online survey. 

The survey revealed that 52% of participating municipalities are involved in efforts or activities towards Canada Target 1.  Municipalities are using a wide-range of tools and mechanisms to deliver area-based biodiversity conservation and conservation of nature.  89% of respondents indicated their municipality is doing some form of mapping followed by 82% doing area-based conservation.  73% are leveraging partnerships and 70% are actively engaged in policy development activities.  Municipalities are also engaged in plan development, public education, monitoring programs, regulatory activities and the development of biodiversity strategies. 

Survey respondents indicated that there is great interest and potential for provincial and federal governments to engage municipalities in collaborative action towards Canada Target 1.

Header Photo by Thomas Ronveaux from Pexels; body photo by Markus Trienke from Flickr.