OTTAWA—Oceans North applauds the government’s unprecedented investment of over $4 billion to protect nature as part of the new federal budget.
“Supporting conservation is an excellent investment in our future,” said Louie Porta, executive director of Oceans North. “Protecting our natural world is essential to our collective wellbeing and helps slow the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon. Today’s investment will pay dividends for all Canadians and put this country on the path to reaching its international conservation targets.”
The new budget also explicitly mentions the importance of Indigenous-led environmental protection and guardianship. This will help advance projects across Canada that not only conserve our lands and oceans, but also provide social and economic benefits for Indigenous communities.
“How we work towards this goal is just as important as hitting our conservation targets,” said Porta. “Canada is showing real leadership in embracing a model that other countries can and should adopt.”
Beyond the nearly $1 billion set aside to protect 25% of Canada’s ocean by 2025, Oceans North is pleased that the government is starting to examine how oceans, coastal communities and ocean-based industries can help reduce emissions and increase the resilience of the ecosystems we all depend on. The budget commits to creating a “Census of the Environment,” which will help demonstrate how investments in nature and climate, such as marine protected areas, can improve environmental health. There is funding for Northern and Indigenous communities to shift to renewable energy, which will promote energy independence and help reduce emissions. And over $200 million has been allocated for low-carbon fuel for federal fleets, including ferries, which could help drive a broader shift towards reducing emissions from marine transport.
“We know that emissions reductions and nature protection must go hand in hand if we are to mitigate our overall impact on the environment,” says Porta. “While this budget doesn’t explicitly link ocean and climate, there are aspects that will help to fast-track emissions reductions in coastal communities and marine industries.”
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