Le Lézard
Classified in: Transportation, Business
Subjects: SRI, CFG

Government of Canada making significant progress and investments to protect Canada's oceans

OTTAWA, ON, July 22, 2021 /CNW/ - With three oceans surrounding us and the longest coastlines in the world, Canadians are deeply connected to our oceans. Healthy oceans mean healthy coastal communities ? they feed our families and support vital industries. Canada is committed to protecting our oceans, and the ecosystems and marine life they sustain.

Canada has made significant progress in marine conservation in the last six years, working in partnership with coastal communities and provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments. In 2015, the Government of Canada announced a target to protect ten per cent of our oceans by 2020. That target was met and surpassed in 2019. Canada has protected approximately 793,906 square kilometres ? nearly 14 per cent ? of our marine and coastal areas.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced a $976.8M investment through Budget 2021 to continue our marine conservation efforts and reach our goal of protecting 25 per cent of Canada's oceans by 2025, and working toward 30 per cent by 2030.

To help ensure that our existing MPAs are effectively achieving their conservation objectives, today Minister Jordan also launched a report entitled The Current ? Managing Oceans Act MPAs Now, For the Future. The first in a series to be published every five years, it provides an update to Canadians about the progress and benefits of effectively managing Oceans Act MPAs in Canada, and will help inform future decisions and reporting on marine protection through the successes, challenges and lessons learned from Oceans Act MPAs established to date.

Achieving effective protections for our marine environments will require substantial efforts in years to come, which will continue to be advanced through extensive consultations, discussions and negotiations to identify new areas, establish protections and ensure areas are effectively managed and monitored. Moving forward, we'll continue to rely on a collaborative approach with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments, as well as meaningful engagement with marine industry stakeholders and coastal communities, to ensure that our approach is both effective and sustainable.

Canada's oceans are home to a rich diversity of species, habitats, and ecosystems, such as deep sea hydrothermal vents, cold-water corals, essential habitats for endangered species such as whales and other cetaceans, fish stocks that support productive and sustainable fisheries ?the list goes on. Safeguarding these areas not only protects biodiversity and natural ecosystems below the surface, but also helps to support Canadian livelihoods in coastal communities, providing economic benefits for Canadians.


"When we protect our oceans, we protect the coastal communities that rely on them. We know that healthy oceans have so much more to give. They feed more families, create more jobs. They help clean the air we breathe. That's why Canada is investing nearly one billion dollars toward our marine conservation efforts. Working in partnership, we will meet protect 25% of our oceans by 2025, working toward 30% by 2030."

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

The Government of Canada has made significant commitments to protect not only 25% of our oceans, but also 25% our land and freshwater. We make these commitments to nature not just for the sake of reaching targets, but to ensure that our natural environment continues to sustain us and contributes to long-lasting positive impacts for all Canadians. Only by building on strong partnerships with provinces, territories, and Indigenous peoples, can we ensure a resilient future for both our environment and our economy."

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

"Canada's oceans, the bounty in our waters, and the riches underneath them have created prosperity for Canadians. Healthy oceans means a healthy economy. Healthy oceans allow future generations to continue to benefit from them for years to come."

The Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources

"Through this investment, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its global leadership in the conservation of nature. Protecting our marine ecosystems goes hand-in-hand with ensuring the safety and efficiency of marine transportation, including the movement of people and goods. Healthy oceans are integral to Canada's blue economy and will help strengthen our post-pandemic economic recovery." 

The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

"This important investment in ocean protection is vital for the health of Canada's Arctic and Northern coastline and marine ecosystems, as well as for the Indigenous and Northern communities that rely on them for their livelihoods. We are protecting and revitalizing our oceans while also laying the foundation for our Blue Economy Strategy to take advantage of the growing economic potential and job opportunities that the Arctic and North offer for Indigenous and Northern communities."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick Facts


Canada's 2025 Marine Conservation Targets

The Government of Canada is taking concrete action to protect, conserve and manage Canada's marine environment by investing in nature-based solutions such as marine protected areas and other effective conservation measures. In response to a growing body of international scientific research about the measures needed to address biodiversity loss and global climate change, we are committed to increasing the conservation of Canada's oceans to 25 per cent by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030.

Under Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a historic investment to protect the health of our oceans, including $976.8 million in funding over five years to reach ambitious marine conservation targets. This will not only give our important habitats, species and ecosystems a chance to survive and thrive, it will also help support the livelihoods of Canadians by ensuring that our oceans continue to provide sustainable benefits to our economy for generations to come, as part of a blue economy.

In reaching these targets, the Government of Canada will advance progress on:

  1. Effective management: Manage existing marine protected areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs*) to ensure they are effective in achieving their conservation objectives.
  2. New site establishment: Establish new MPAs and OECMs to meet the 25 per cent target by 2025.
  3. Collaboration: Continuing to build upon and foster meaningful partnerships with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous governments, and local communities, to advance effective ocean planning and conservation activities.
  4. Marine Spatial Planning: Advance marine conservation within the broader context of marine spatial planning and Canada's Blue Economy Strategy, which is still in development, to help enable ambitious marine conservation objectives while also allowing for sustainable growth in our ocean sectors as part of the development of a resilient blue economy.
  5. International advocacy: Continue to take a leadership role along with like-minded countries to advocate for conserving 30 per cent of the world's oceans by 2030.

* OECMs (Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures) such as marine refuges, are areas that contribute to the effective long-term conservation of biodiversity though means other than protected areas.

Canada's National Report on Managing Oceans Act MPAs

Well-designed and well-managed MPAs are an effective tool for conserving nature and biodiversity, and mitigating impacts due to global climate change. When effectively managed and monitored, they can provide a wide range of ecological, economic, social, cultural and spiritual benefits. The Government of Canada has launched The Current, the first national report in a series that will be updated every five years. It showcases the work we are doing with partners to ensure our Oceans Act MPAs are achieving their conservation objectives, and provides a review of effective MPA management measures.

International Advocacy

The Government of Canada has signaled to the world that we take the health and sustainability of oceans seriously, relying on the best available science and evidence-based decision-making. Canada has joined both the Global Ocean Alliance, and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, in advocating internationally for protection of 30 per cent of the world's oceans by 2030. As a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, Canada is also committed to sustainably managing 100 per cent of the ocean area under its national jurisdiction by 2025.

In June 2022, Canada will also host the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) alongside Host First Nations?the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh?in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), to bring together a broad spectrum of individuals, organizations, governments and institutions representing many sectors of society to advance further solutions for the protection and health of the global ocean.

Marine Spatial Planning

Marine spatial planning is a collaborative approach already being used in over 75 countries around the world to help coordinate and plan the distribution of human activities in a given marine environment over time, allowing ecological, economic, social and cultural objectives to be pursued while reducing conflict and duplication. By providing greater predictability and improved clarity over where and when ocean activities can take place, marine spatial planning will contribute to an overall oceans management approach that drives prosperity, encourages community inclusion, and protects jobs, natural resources, marine life, and the beauty of our coasts.

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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada

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