Canada along with the other 195 member nations have wrapped up negotiations at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal.
After 13 days of negotiations at the largest ever conference for biodiversity conservation, Parties at COP15 in Montréal agreed on a historic global framework to safeguard nature and halt and reverse biodiversity loss, putting nature on a path to recovery by 2050.
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, worked tirelessly with international colleagues on the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework. Among Canada’s main goals were protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030, respecting the rights and roles of Indigenous peoples, and addressing the key drivers of biodiversity loss, such as pollution and overexploitation of nature. These elements were agreed upon in the final Framework.
In addition to driving ambition in international negotiations, Canada made major new commitments and investments over the course of COP15. This includes:
- Up to $800 million to support up to four Indigenous-led conservation initiatives. Once completed, these projects could protect an additional one million square kilometres.
- The Government signed the Canada–Yukon Nature Agreement, the first agreement of its kind with any province or territory. This agreement will advance nature conservation and protection across the territory and supports Indigenous leadership in conservation.
- $350 million in new and additional funding to support developing countries in protecting nature. Canada also joined like-minded countries in a joint donor statement that sets out billions of dollars from the international community to protect and restore nature.
- $255 million toward projects to help developing countries build a strong future, including by fighting climate change, protecting nature and supporting resilient local economies. Most of this funding will go toward the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Environment Facility—making Canada its 7th-largest donor country.
- The Governments of Canada and Manitoba, together with the Seal River Watershed Alliance, will work together on a feasibility assessment for an Indigenous protected area in the Seal River Watershed. Located in northern Manitoba, the Seal River Watershed is one of the richest carbon sinks in the world, and one of the world’s largest remaining ecologically intact watersheds.
- The next important steps in the ban on harmful single-use plastics, as well as new support for ocean restoration, conservation, and research across Canada, backed up by $227.5 million in funding.
As countries commit to ambitious action, momentum must continue to ensure this new set of goals is achieved. At home and on the world stage, Canada will continue to lead on our shared work to protect nature and build a strong, healthy future for people everywhere.
“In Montréal, we have risen to the challenge and united as one global community to address the crisis faced by nature. We agreed on an ambitious path forward for our planet, and have given ourselves the tools to turn the tide. This is a historic moment for nature, and it is our only chance to save what we love and hold dear, before it is too late,” said Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Canada has a clear path to protecting 25 percent of its lands and oceans by 2025, and 30 percent of each—a land mass almost as large as the European Union—by 2030.
- In the weeks leading to COP15, Canada announced over $185 million in funding for domestic conservation initiatives and important steps forward for species at risk, including:
- $109 million from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund for 40 conservation projects across the country; more than $60 million through the Enhanced Nature Legacy initiative to support the recovery and protection of some of Canada’s most iconic species; and the launch of consultations on the assessment of the status of the Monarch butterfly and the Western Bumble Bee.
- The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity brought together over 12,000 delegates from around the world to engage in important negotiations and dialogue around biodiversity conservation.
- The Canada pavilion offered a diverse and busy program throughout COP15. It showcased Canadian action and leadership on biodiversity conservation, promoted partnerships and ambitious action, and amplified the voices of Indigenous peoples, women, and youth.
- The Indigenous village, located at the Port of Montréal, showcased the vital role of Indigenous peoples as stewards of the land, and offered a gathering space for Indigenous participants at the conference.
- The Public Action Zone, also located at the Port of Montréal, allowed the public to engage with leading global biodiversity conservation organizations, Indigenous and environmental organizations, youth, community and business leaders, academics, and artists, as well as COP15 delegates.