Canada invests $11.3 million to increase biodiversity conservation in UNESCO biosphere reserves

Ontario: All Canadians depend on nature for clean water to drink and air to breathe, food to eat, and quality spaces to enjoy outdoors. The rapid decline of biodiversity undermines the foundations of the Canadian economy, food security, health, and quality of life. Stopping biodiversity loss is vital in its own right, but it is also vital to protect species at risk; combat climate change; and rebuild a strong, sustainable economy.

Today, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced that the Government of Canada will invest $11.3 million over three years from Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy to increase biodiversity conservation efforts in nineteen UNESCO biosphere reserves across Canada. These biosphere reserves range from Clayoquot Sound in British Columbia to Riding Mountain in Manitoba, Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, the Manicouagan-Uapishka Biosphere Reserve in the Baie-Comeau region of Quebec, and New Brunswick’s Fundy Biosphere Reserve.

Over the next three years, partners will work together to restore, maintain, and enhance biodiversity conservation in the buffer zones—the areas surrounding the core protected areas—of each biosphere reserve. This investment will help the biosphere reserves continue their conservation work, which could include biodiversity research, documentation, and land management practices, as well as stakeholder engagement to increase awareness around other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and Canada’s conservation goals. Ideally, they will achieve positive biodiversity outcomes equal to those of a protected area, and if they are successfully recognized as OECMs, they could be counted toward Canada’s conservation goals.

Moving forward, the Government of Canada will continue to work with conservation partners to identify additional opportunities to support biodiversity conservation. Investing in biosphere reserves is an example of bringing people and communities together to address the biodiversity crisis, support sustainable economic development, and foster healthy relationships with nature.