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“We are committed to redoubling our efforts to protect the biodiversity of the ocean and support the sustainability of coastal communities”

Recognizing we have a responsibility to Canadians, the world, and future generations, we are committed to redoubling our efforts to protect the biodiversity of the ocean and support the sustainability of coastal communities. Focused and coordinated action by countries around the world is the only way to stem the decline in biodiversity and rise to the challenge of climate change.”

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

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is a national and international leader in advancing, connecting, and applying scientific understanding to address the most pressing environmental issues.

Puffins, Scott Islands, BC Canada Photo Sabine Jessen

It is Canada’s lead department in addressing threats from pollution, monitoring water and climate conditions, conserving and restore Canada’s natural environment, enforcing environmental laws, and capitalizing on economic opportunities that fighting climate change presents.

Environment and Climate Change Canada works in partnership with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, the scientific community, and others to protect and conserve Canada’s natural heritage, ensuring a clean, safe and sustainable environment for present and future generations.

Canada’s Nature Legacy: Protecting our nature

In the face of population growth, urbanization, industrial development, and global climate change, Canada has established domestic and international biodiversity goals to protect 30% of its lands and ocean by 2030. To support these goals, the Government of Canada invested a historic $1.35 billion in Budget 2018 to support work with other governments, Indigenous groups, non-profit organizations, and others.

Find out more about Canada’s Nature Legacy

National Wildlife Areas

Under the Canada Wildlife Act, ECCC creates and manages National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) to conserve wildlife, and create opportunities for research, and interpretation. 

The department uses an ecosystem approach to manage and plan for National Wildlife Areas. This ecosystem includes 55 National Wildlife Areas across Canada that protect over 2.1 million hectares of habitat, including  over 1.5 million hectares of marine habitat.

At the request of Inuit organisations in Nunavut, three National Wildlife Areas were designated on Baffin Island (2010) in the context of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act. They protect 4,490km2 of Nunavut’s marine environment and habitat for a variety of fish, seabird and marine mammal species, including important concentrations of beluga and bowhead whales.

The Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area was the first protected marine area established under the Canada Wildlife Act in June, 2018. It includes five islands and surrounding marine waters located off the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Scott Islands are one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Canada’s Pacific coast.

Find out more about Canada’s marine National Wildlife Areas:

Nunavut
Nunavut, Canada Photo Sabine Jessen