Written by: Kimberly White

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, has announced that Canada will host a summit focused on the global protection of nature.

“Canadians love and value nature. That’s why the Government of Canada is working hard to double the protection of our lands and oceans from coast to coast to coast. By hosting the Nature Champions Summit, Canada is seizing an urgent opportunity to work with international leaders to advance an equally ambitious agenda to protect the world’s nature,” stated McKenna.

The Nature Champions Summit will bring together United Nations agencies, environment ministers, Indigenous leaders, NGOs, and business leaders from around the globe.

The Summit will take place in Montréal from April 24-25th 2019- just one week before environment ministers will be meeting in France for the G7.

According to a release from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, key themes of the Nature Champions Summit are:

  • identifying and overcoming barriers to nature protection
  • Indigenous partnerships and incorporating Indigenous wisdom in stewardship activities
  • the intersection of nature, oceans and climate change; and innovative financing for nature-based solutions

In 2017, World Wildlife Fund Canada reported that half of Canada’s wildlife species are in decline. Causes of decline included habitat loss, climate change, and pollution.

Globally, we’ve lost 60% of wildlife in less than 50 years.

“The nature conservation agenda is not only about securing the future of tigers, pandas, whales and all the amazing diversity of life we love and cherish on Earth. It’s bigger than that. Our day-to-day life, health and livelihoods depend on a healthy planet. There cannot be a healthy, happy and prosperous future for people on a planet with a destabilized climate, depleted oceans and rivers, degraded land and empty forests, all stripped of biodiversity, the web of life that sustains us all,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General at WWF International. “We have before us a rapidly closing window for action and an unparalleled opportunity as we head into the year 2020.”

The Nature Champions Summit is the first in a series of multilateral meetings focused on building momentum towards the 2020 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Header Image Credit: Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia Commons(CC BY-SA 3.0)