Jordan, a Kaska land guardian, conducts water sampling along the Kechika River in northern B.C. Photo: Taylor Roades
Government of Canada commits $340 million to Indigenous-led conservation
2021

On August 12, 2021, the Government of Canada announced its largest investment in Indigenous-led conservation to date — committing $340 million of new funding over five years to support new and existing Indigenous Guardians initiatives and Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs).

This historic investment builds on the growing recognition that Indigenous-led conservation is critical for Canada achieve its global commitment to protect and conserve 30% of lands and waters by 2030.

We welcome this investment by the federal government, which aligns with the focus and approach of our Environment Program’s Carbon Landscapes initiative.

Earlier this year, we announced that Carbon Landscapes funding will be geared to help protect and conserve three priority landscapes rich in carbon and biodiversity: peatlands, grasslands, and old growth forests.

Our approach will continue to be grounded in respect for Indigenous rights, culture, and tradition and will prioritize Indigenous-led conservation — specifically the establishment of IPCAs — in two regions with unique climate and biodiversity values: the Hudson Bay Lowlands and the Mackenzie River Basin. Indigenous communities have stewarded the lands and waters of these regions since time immemorial. And as highlighted in a United Nations policy brief from April of this year:

 

Indigenous peoples are stewards of the world’s biodiversity and cultural diversity. Although they account for only around 5 per cent of the world’s population, they effectively manage an estimated 20-25 per cent of the Earth’s land surface.

 

This land coincides with areas that hold 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity and about 40 per cent of all terrestrial protected areas and ecologically intact landscapes. Indigenous peoples therefore play a key role in efforts to protect the planet and biodiversity.

We strongly support the Government of Canada’s investment and partnering with Indigenous governments and communities to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss with integrated solutions.

Read the full Government of Canada announcement here.