With the investment of $1.3 billion over five years going towards the Target 1 initiative, Canada is moving closer to achieving its conservation goals for 2020.

WOODBRIDGE, February 27, 2018 – As a part of Budget 2018, the federal Liberal government announced significant funding for protected areas in Canada, which positions Canada as a global leader in biodiversity conservation.

In 2015, the Canadian government adopted the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, including Target 1. The goal of Target 1 is to establish at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10% of marine and coastal areas be protected by 2020. To meet the Target 1 goal, 65 million hectares will need to be protected and secured. This is the largest conservation opportunity in the world today.

The ambition to achieve Target 1 was reinforced by a report from the Standing Committee on Environment and Climate Change, which made over 36 recommendations to increase the extent of protected spaces, including dedicating greater resources to meeting biodiversity targets. Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna has taken a leadership role in bringing all parties to the table to advocate for this important initiative.

“The Schad Foundation and Earth Rangers are proud to be working alongside decision-makers, conservation partners, Indigenous representatives and all levels of government to ensure that Target 1 remains a priority, and we applaud the announcement in the federal budget today that $1.3 billion over five years will be dedicated to our precious natural habitat and that these areas will be protected for future generations” said Executive Director of the Schad Foundation and President of Earth Rangers, Mr. Peter Kendall.

Commitment to Target 1 allows multiple priorities to advance on conservation, climate resilience and mitigation fronts, as well as moving towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Ongoing declines in Canada’s biodiversity can be reversed through a commitment to protected areas and connectivity.

“I joined Earth Rangers because I care about animals and know they’re facing so many threats. If we don’t act now, in a generation it will be too late.  I did my part by raising $1,000 for cold water coral research and now I’m proud that our government is doing their part by investing over a billion dollars in protecting the habitats of so many species” said Julianna, a 13-year-old resident of Stouffville and active member of the Earth Rangers.

Canada has an opportunity to demonstrate global leadership in conservation and sustainable development, while also providing greater certainty to resource sectors on where they can and cannot explore, develop and operate. The investment in today’s federal budget is certainly a step in the right direction.

About The Schad Foundation
The Schad Foundation is a private family foundation founded by Robert and Elizabeth Schad. They believe that people will be motivated to protect the environment when they recognize the extent to which they are dependent upon nature. Focused on youth environmental education and species protection, the Foundation is one of the largest conservation funders in Canada. The Foundation seeks out strategic projects that have a direct and measurable impact on biodiversity restoration, protection and conservation. https://schadfoundation.wordpress.com/

About Earth Rangers
Earth Rangers is the kids’ conservation organization, committed to instilling environmental knowledge, positivity, and the confidence to take action in every child in Canada. We do this through a suite of free programming that children can participate in at school, at home, and in their communities. All of these programs are educational and engaging – but more importantly, they show children that it’s not too late to help the planet, and the things we do today will matter tomorrow. Earth Rangers has over 175,000 members aged 6-12 from all corners of Canada who have each made a commitment to do their part to protect biodiversity and fight climate change. www.earthrangers.org

For additional information please contact:

Kate Harrison
Senior Consultant, Summa Strategies Canada
613-235-1400 x 226