Ducks Unlimited Canada named key delivery agent for Natural Heritage Conservation Program
Program aims to conserve nature and protect Canada’s lands, waters and wildlife
December 13, 2022 – Montreal, QC – Against the backdrop of the COP15 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, an international conference focused on halting and reversing biodiversity loss through the protection and conservation of the natural environment, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is pleased to be named a lead conservation organization that will continue delivering the Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP).
Initially launched in 2019, the NHCP is a unique public-private partnership designed to support new protected and conserved areas on private lands and aims to improve Canada’s natural environment. DUC is a trusted partner helping to deliver this program by conserving critical wetlands and surrounding grasslands and forests in areas at greatest risk of loss and degradation right across Canada. Since the program’s launch, DUC has conserved 14,615 hectares of land through 127 projects across six provinces in areas with the greatest conservation need and threats to biodiversity.
“Ducks Unlimited Canada is proud to deliver focused conservation efforts to ensure wetlands and other natural habitats remain healthy and productive for generations to come,” says Brian Gray, Interim Chief Executive Officer for DUC. “We are grateful for the continuation of our partnership with the federal government through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program as we continue to find new ways to protect our lands, waters and wildlife for the benefit of all Canadians.”
With a long history of conserving ecologically important lands that provide a variety of environmental benefits, including habitat for species at risk and migratory birds, carbon storage and clean water, DUC’s efforts are focused on working landscapes. By collaborating directly with farmers, ranchers and other landowners as well as the forestry sector, DUC is able to create nature-positive outcomes that are good for both wildlife and people.
“Achieving Canada’s 30 per cent by 2030 land-conservation target will require the combined efforts of our federal government, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities, business leaders, land trusts, and more. By working with partners such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are helping to protect the natural environment across the country. Protecting land plays a vital role in helping to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, and contributes to the recovery of species at risk,” says the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Joined in this program by partners the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Wildlife Habitat Canada (in close collaboration with the Alliance of Canadian Land Trusts), DUC is also responsible for matching every dollar of federal funding it receives with at least $1.50 of non-federal contributions, which multiplies the investment and the impact.
“Thanks to the support from our passionate and generous conservation community, DUC will be contributing important resources to leverage the NHCP investment in ways that will protect more hectares of precious habitat,” says Gray.
As world leaders gather at COP15 to set the path forward to protect nature and safeguard biodiversity, DUC is proud to be participating in the important conversations that will develop an ambitious new plan for nature. The NHCP will play a key role as Canada seeks to protect and conserve 30 per cent of Canada’s lands and inland waters by 2030.
About Ducks Unlimited Canada: Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC uses sound science and partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit www.ducks.ca.
About the Natural Heritage Conservation Program: The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique partnership that supports the creation of protected and conserved areas through the acquisition of private land and private interest in land. To date, the Government of Canada has invested more than $440 million in the Program, which has been matched with more than $870 million in contributions raised by Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the country’s land trust community, leading to the protection and conservation of more than 700,000 hectares of ecologically sensitive lands.
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