Ground Water Canada

National panel on biodiversity conservation created by federal and provincial governments

June 12, 2017  By Ground Water Canada

Ottawa – Canada’s federal and provincial governments have created a National Advisory Panel on biodiversity with the goal to protect at least 17 per cent of our country’s land and freshwater through a network of parks, protected and conserved areas, and other conservation measures by 2020.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, along with the Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, introduced the experts, appointed to a National Advisory Panel, who will advise governments on achieving Canada’s international commitment to biodiversity conservation.

Selected from nearly 150 candidates, the National Advisory Panel consists of individuals representing a broad spectrum of perspectives, including Indigenous organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, resource industries, academia and youth, the governments said in a news release. Panel members are tasked with providing practical and innovative recommendations based on the best available science and traditional knowledge on how we can collectively achieve Canada’s land and freshwater target by 2020. The panel report will be publicly available to all Canadians in late 2017.


In the news release, the governments drew attention to the rights, respect, co-operation and partnership with Indigenous communities, saying it supports their involvement in every aspect of the initiative. An Indigenous Circle of Experts has been created to provide Indigenous expert advice throughout all elements of the initiative. In addition, special attention is being directed to developing criteria for Indigenous Protected and Conservation Areas, which could play a significant role in achieving the land and freshwater conservation target.

This is the first time in over 25 years federal and provincial governments have agreed to work together on expanding Canada’s collection of protected and conserved areas. It is also the first effort to move from a collection to a connected network of protected and conserved areas, the release said.

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