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Canada and British Columbia launch development of a new Nature Agreement

The two governments will explore new ways to protect and restore habitat and strengthen ecosystem resilience to climate change

February 26, 2021  by CM Staff

A Northern Spotted Owl perches on a branch (CNW Group/Environment and Climate Change Canada)

VICTORIA, BC — Canada and British Columbia have a long history of shared conservation goals and taking leadership together on climate change, environmental protection, and conservation.

As part of this effort, the two governments are announcing immediate action to support ongoing efforts for the recovery of the Spotted Owl, and pilot projects using new approaches to protecting species at risk and enhancing biodiversity.

The two governments will explore new ways to protect and restore habitat and strengthen ecosystem resilience to climate change. Canada and British Columbia will work with Indigenous Peoples in these efforts.

“As a proud British Columbian, I know how deeply we cherish and depend on nature. Now is the time for concrete action to protect natural ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in a prepared statement. “We are working towards protecting 25 percent of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025 and supporting Indigenous leadership in conservation to get there.”

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The Nature Agreement will build on collaborative measures already in place such as the Pathway to Canada Target 1 and the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk Conservation in Canada. It will include recovery measures for the Spotted Owl, including an updated recovery strategy for the species, and a strategy for the reintroduction of captive Spotted Owls to the wild. The remaining wild owls are currently nesting within Wildlife Habitat Areas, specifically protected for Spotted Owls as part of British Columbia’s longstanding efforts to recover the species.