Federal budget plants seeds of a healthier, greener post-pandemic future
Ottawa, ON, April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) welcomes new investments in nature-based solutions, sustainable agriculture, a new national census of our environment assets and Indigenous-led conservation initiatives announced today in the federal budget. Recognizing that nature is a key to Canada’s recovery, these commitments represent important opportunities for all sectors to work together to address a global ecological crisis while creating economic growth.
The government announced $2.3 billion over the next five years to address historic biodiversity losses, fight climate change and create jobs. Noteworthy is the pledge to conserve up to one million square kilometers of land and inland waters to achieve Canada’s 25 per cent protected-area target by 2025. Wetland conservation will be key to achieving this target, as will the expansion of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas across the country.
“At Ducks Unlimited Canada, we’re hopeful and confident that the country—collectively—can change the trajectory of the current climate and biodiversity crises,” says Karla Guyn, CEO of DUC. “By conserving and restoring wetlands, we can support wildlife, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen our communities through landscape resiliency. At the same time, these outcomes will lead to economic recovery. We’re pleased that the government has recognized the central role wetlands play in the path forward.”
In the face of the growing climate crisis, DUC is also encouraged by the government’s new investments to top up the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. Specifically, the creation of a new $200-million Natural Infrastructure Fund will provide important support for wetland restoration projects that mitigate the effects of flooding, sea-level rise and other costly natural events.
Other promising signs in the budget include funding for sustainable agricultural programs and conservation science. Support for Canada’s farmers and ranchers, some of our country’s most dedicated land stewards, will allow them to invest in on-farm efforts that support climate action. DUC also looks forward to contributing to Canada’s first-ever Census of the Environment—an undertaking that will enhance our shared knowledge of how best to live in harmony with our land, water and wildlife.
“Now is the time for industry, governments and conservation organizations to come together like never before,” says Guyn. “Today’s budget has put forward opportunities that must be seized if we are going to create a prosperous, more resilient future. Working collaboratively and acting decisively with the best interests of both our environment and economy in mind are responsibilities we all share.”
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Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. DUC is also part of the Green Budget Coalition, a group of 25 leading environmental organizations, that presented a set of budgetary recommendations to the federal government last fall that would align needed stimulus measures with core environmental objectives to maximize benefits to Canadians.