Canada’s natural spaces are suffering. It’s a fact measured over decades in the dropping numbers of at-risk species, in the growing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, in the thousands of hectares of grasslands that have been converted, and in the millions of trees that are no longer standing.
Global biodiversity is in steep decline, and it’s clear that Canadians want—and expect—more protection of Canada’s wild areas.
In response, our federal government has committed to protecting 25% of Canada’s land and ocean by 2025, and 30% by 2030. With this commitment and meaningful action, Canada has the opportunity to become a global leader in nature conservation.
By making room for nature, that pledge helps give threatened species a chance to avoid extinction. It also is an opportunity to acknowledge the role of Indigenous communities as guardians of nature and helps strengthen Indigenous cultures and knowledge.
With efforts in recent years, Canada has managed to protect 13.9% of marine areas and 13.5% of terrestrial areas. It’s a good start, but even more can be done—and you can help.
Make A Difference
Help us protect the things that we all love—the things that define us as Canadians and unite us as a nation. Donate to conservation in your province and make sure that we all get to enjoy a greener tomorrow.
Nature Defines Us
It changes us. It’s for the joy of nature that we rise to meet the challenge of summiting the mountain top, paddling across the whole lake, or getting up early to get a chance to spot the moose wading through the wetland. It’s those times in our lives when we do make room for nature that stay with us forever; that form the stories and memories that sustain us.
Despite nature being a part of who we are, right now our actions aren’t consistent with our priorities. Canada is actually falling behind in meeting our international commitments.
We need to challenge ourselves and our government to truly protect the wild areas and species that depend on them. Increased protection is particularly critical to restore the health and abundance of hundreds of species. We can’t ignore the reality that species are in rapid decline, and some are at very real risk of disappearing altogether.
Hundreds of species that call our natural areas home lack the protections necessary for them to thrive, and it is only getting worse with the effects of climate change and increasing development.
Join our mailing list to find out how you can help #MakeRoomForNature in Canada.
We can still make a Difference
Canada has made a commitment of setting aside resources to protect 25% of Canada’s land and ocean by 2025, and 30% by 2030.
While we’ve made some progress towards this goal, right now we only have 13.5% of terrestrial land protected. With only three years left to meet our commitment, we’ve fallen behind other countries and need to act now to achieve this important milestone.
But the work won’t stop there. The science shows that we need to protect much more than 30% of our land and freshwater to restore and sustain healthy natural areas. In order to restore and sustain natural areas for future generations, we need to work together to protect close to half of our land and freshwater.
We can only do it Together
The good news is that Indigenous communities across the country have been leading the way, championing the development of large protected areas that build on their long history of stewardship and protection of the land and water.
Indigenous-led conservation efforts have been going on for generations and continue to this day as First Nations exercise their rights and responsibilities over traditional lands. You can read more about what CPAWS Saskatchewan is doing to integrate Indigenous Guardianship into our protected areas here.
Canadians support action, the government has committed to targets, the funds have been allocated, and Indigenous communities have created opportunities for new protected areas.
Many Indigenous governments have embraced land use planning as a tool for expressing their aspirations for their territory. We can get behind those aspirations and protect our natural areas by supporting and investing in Indigenous-led conservation.
Working together, we can do this. The time for governments to act is now. It is your job to hold our new government accountable for their promises.
Protect Our Wilderness
What is CPAWS doing?
CPAWS is a non-profit, non-government, and non-partisan conservation organization who have been following their central mandate “to protect 50% of Canada’s public land and water, forever” since 1963. In that time, we’ve been able to protect over half a million square kilometers—an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory!
We are a boots-on-the-ground operation, with a fully functional chapter in almost every province and territory in Canada. You can find us out in the field conducting actual research and making change for the better on the ground with our Indigenous and community partners—and also in the back rooms where the decisions that change the course of the future are made.
We’ve known for a long time that there is a verifiable link between climate change and loss of wilderness. We are determined to end one and halt the other in its tracks. Protecting the wild spaces that we have left just makes sense— to make room for species in decline; to keep climate change from destroying biodiversity; to make sure that our kids will get to enjoy the outdoors like we did when we were young.