Protected Areas and Climate Action in Ontario: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue
Samantha Cava, Anne Bell

In October 2019, Ontario Nature, Plenty Canada, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Walpole Island Land Trust, and Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve hosted a gathering on protected areas and climate action at St. Lawrence College in Kingston. The purpose was to provide a forum for cross-cultural dialogue and learning about the critical role that protected areas play in conserving biodiversity and increasing community and ecosystem resilience in an era of climate change. Specifically, the gathering aimed to enhance collective understanding and build and strengthen collaboration among organizations and individuals working to establish protected areas and address climate change.

Over 100 leaders and knowledge holders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations attended the gathering, including members of 20 Indigenous communities and organizations and representatives of 38 conservation and environmental organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Together they shared insights and strategies about addressing the interrelated crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

This report — supported by RBC Foundation, the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of Canada and the Metcalf Foundation — reflects the presentations, discussions and knowledge shared at the gathering and aims to inform future dialogue and action with respect to nature-based solutions to climate change.