By: The Working Forest Staff
VICTORIA, Cision News Wire — The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced more than $4.3 million to support 49 new conservation projects across Canada, over the next three years. These projects focus on protecting priority places, species, and sectors and recovering multiple land-based species at risk and their ecosystems. Many of the projects will be led by Indigenous groups, using Indigenous traditional knowledge, in assessing the species that may be at risk, as well as in developing and implementing protection and recovery measures.
The Minister highlighted three projects taking place on and around Vancouver Island, including over $108,000 to the District of Oak Bay to support the conservation and recovery of 14 at-risk plant species found in Uplands Park in Victoria, British Columbia. The plants include the Bearded Owl-clover, Kellogg’s Rush, Muhlenberg’s Centaury, Water-plantain Buttercup, and Tall Woolly-heads, and the federal funding will help the District of Oak Bay remove invasive plant species, install split-rail fencing around sensitive areas, and address the impacts of recreation in the park.
The federal investment will also help the Nature Conservancy of Canada undertake a project to support the recovery of endangered plants including Howell’s Triteleia and Yellow Montane Violet, within the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve. Support to the Government of British Columbia will contribute toward habitat restoration and the recovery of the Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly, an at-risk butterfly species found on Denman and Hornby Islands.
“Our nature is in crisis. The abundance of insects, plants, and animals around the world is declining at an alarming rate, and Canada has a unique responsibility to the world to protect the species at risk within our borders. By investing in local conservation projects, and supporting the leadership of Indigenous communities working to protect nature, together we are making important progress toward protecting species at risk and the places they depend on,” said McKenna.
- In 2019–2020, the Habitat Stewardship Program will fund 21 new projects, and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk will fund 28 projects across Canada. In British Columbia, there will be 7 new Habitat Stewardship Program projects and 7 new Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk projects.
- The Habitat Stewardship Program has supported the legal protection of over 205,000 hectares of land between 2000 and March 2018.
- The Habitat Stewardship Program and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk are annual application-based conservation programs, which direct funds to individuals and communities who want to protect our environment and work on recovering Canada’s species at risk.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for funding land-based Habitat Stewardship Program and Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk projects, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for funding aquatic Habitat Stewardship Program and Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk projects.
- Between its inception in 2000 and March 2018, the Habitat Stewardship Program has supported over 3,000 projects by providing more than $200 million in funding. This funding has leveraged recipient contributions to enable over $400 million to conserve and protect Canadian species at risk and their habitats.
- Between its inception in 2004 and March 2018, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk has provided more than $43 million to support 1,100 projects. This funding has leveraged recipient contributions to enable over $65 million to conserve and protect Canadian species and their habitats.