Nature Canada welcomes the developing election conversation on Indigenous-led programs to promote reconciliation, address climate change, and halt and reverse nature loss; saying it is good news for the environment.
So far the federal parties’ positions have been:
- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh promised to deliver $500 million to advance reconciliation and protect land, freshwater and ocean as part of a 10-year plan to reverse species loss.
- The Conservative Party platform references supporting Indigenous-Protected and Conserved Areas but does not provide costing.
- The Liberal Party, Green Party, and Bloc Québecois have not released any policy positions on Indigenous-led Conservation to date.
“Indigenous-led conservation is key for nature’s recovery and therefore a central plank in our own ‘Nature Platform’,” says Gauri Sreenivasan, director of policy and campaigns at Nature Canada. “It’s great to see how parties are already talking about it, and the previous Liberal government made recent historic investments in these programs as well. It’s critical that when Canadians go to vote on September 20, they know where the parties stand on action to halt nature loss and ensure its full recovery.”
Nature Canada has released its platform of policies to help inform voters who want to see the next government halt and reverse nature loss. The platform has five planks:
- Protect at least 30 per cent of lands, freshwater, and ocean by 2030
- Support Indigenous-led nature conservation
- Invest in nature’s crucial role in fighting climate change
- Restore urban biodiversity and expand access to green space for all
- Advance environmental justice and prevent environmental racism
Throughout the election campaign, Nature Canada will encourage its supporters to question leaders and candidates about their positions on these issues and to keep nature top of mind when it comes time to cast a vote.
Promoting and supporting Indigenous-led Conservation efforts is core to Nature Canada’s mandate to protect nature and halt and reverse the extinction crisis. Programs like Indigenous Guardians programs have had great success as pilots in this field and require additional funding to reach their potential.
“Indigenous communities are uniquely suited to lead the way on conservation and stewardship,” says Emily McMillan, executive director of Nature Canada. “Conservation in Canada has a history of racist policy and actions against Indigenous Peoples and its long past time to turn that around and centre Indigenous knowledge, traditions, and stewardship in our efforts to protect nature.”