OTTAWA, ON – Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) welcomes major investments in wildlife habitat conservation announced today in the 2018 Federal Budget. New funding of $1.3 billion is one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history.
The budget includes important new measures, recommended by the Green Budget Coalition, that support species at risk, migratory bird sanctuaries and protected areas as well as opportunities for Indigenous-led conservation efforts. These are positive steps toward securing the country’s social, economic and ecological prosperity.
“We applaud the action being taken in this budget to protect Canada’s natural heritage,” says Karla Guyn, chief executive officer for DUC. “We look forward to working with the Government of Canada to ensure these funds are implemented as effectively as possible, delivering the greatest impact to wetlands and wildlife.”
The Government’s new $1-billion Nature Fund, consisting of $500 million in federal funds and $500 million in matching funds from conservation and other partners, shows a strong commitment to collaborative conservation.
“We remain committed to leveraging our public and private donations to access the newly established Nature Fund in ways that will accelerate conservation impacts on the Canadian landscape,” says Guyn.
DUC is particularly pleased that the Nature Fund can be used for conservation efforts on private land, which are often at the greatest risk and represent significant gains for biodiversity.
The boreal forest is also poised to benefit from Budget 2018 with the Government’s commitment to area-based conservation. This vast area, rich in wetlands, is key to Canada’s ability to achieve its 2020 goal of protecting 17 per cent of land and inland water.
“The boreal region is incredibly important, not just for Canada but globally,” says Leslie Bogdan, DUC’s regional director of operations for the boreal. “Boreal wetlands provide habitat for millions of migrating waterfowl, help filter the largest surface area of fresh water on the planet and store nearly 150 billion tonnes of carbon.”
DUC looks forward to a continued collaboration with Indigenous communities to support their conservation and land use efforts. Additional budget highlights include expanding national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries as well as enhancing conservation efforts that support species at risk. Wetlands are integral to advancing all of these priorities.
The 2018 federal budget signals a strong commitment to Canada’s land, water and wildlife.
“Today, in the face of unprecedented environmental challenges, this budget represents a new approach to collaborative conservation and delivers hope for future generations,” says Guyn.
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. www.ducks.ca