Top conservation groups challenge federal election candidates to commit to action on nature protection and climate change

Traditional Land of Wabanaki People/Fredericton – New Brunswick’s leading conservation groups are asking candidates what they will do to protect N.B.’s nature and act on climate change if they are elected in Canada’s federal election on Sept. 20th. 

In an open letter, Nature NB, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society—NB Chapter, Conservation Council of New Brunswick and Nature Trust of New Brunswick are asking candidates to define how they will meet the international and national land conservation targets of 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030, respectively. 

The groups say that protecting, restoring, and managing land and ocean to flourish reduces the risks and impacts from extreme climatic events, curbs species and biodiversity decline, and promotes healthy communities for Canadians.

The federal government has committed to the largest nature conservation target in Canadian history; however, without funding to manage and steward these protected areas we will not reach these targets or effectively conserve nature for the long-term. In New Brunswick, with one of the country’s lowest protected area rate at 4.7 per cent, providing additional support to ensure the province reaches its current goal of 10 per cent protection, as well as removing any barriers to establishing and stewarding new protected land and ocean, is vital, the groups say.

The questionnaire also asks candidates what will they will do to invest in Indigenous-led nature planning in New Brunswick, including the establishment of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and their stewardship by Indigenous Guardians, Indigenous-led efforts to restore and steward species-at-risk and habitat, and recognize and respect Indigenous knowledge in all aspects of nature conservation.

Given that privately-owned protected land can increase connectivity between habitats and, when combined with provincial and federal protected areas, are critical for expanding the landscape that is managed for ecosystem resilience especially under climate change, the groups also asked candidates how they would empower and incentivize New Brunswick landowners to become involved in advocating and managing for conservation and protected areas as a part of community climate response.

Access the open letter to candidates and federal party leaders here.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Roberta Clowater, Executive Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – NB Chapter: rclowater@cpaws.org; 506-452-9902

Lois Corbett, Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick: lois.corbett@conservationcouncil.ca; 506-238-5292

Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director, Nature NB: executive.director@naturenb.ca; 506-459-4209

Stephanie Merrill, Chief Executive Officer, Nature Trust of New Brunswick: stephanie.merrill@ntnb.org; 506-457-2398

Who we are:

Nature NB is a provincial conservation organization comprised of a dozen naturalist clubs from across the province and hundreds of members. Our mission is to celebrate, conserve and protect New Brunswick’s natural heritage through education, networking and collaboration. Visit website.

The Nature Trust of New Brunswick is New Brunswick’s provincial land trust, dedicated to conserving land, stewarding the ensuing nature preserves, and engaging the people of our province in conservation and stewardship work. We are a dynamic charitable organization that has established broad support in the province from a wide range of stakeholders, volunteers and donors, while protecting some outstanding natural sites. To date, the Nature Trust has conserved over 9,000 acres on 66 nature preserves, from pristine forests and shorelines, to coastal islands and wetlands, brimming with biodiversity including species at risk. Visit website

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – NB Chapter is part of the nation-wide charity CPAWS, with a mission to work with governments, Indigenous peoples and communities to protect more of Canada’s publicly managed lands and water – for the benefit of both wildlife and people. We work cooperatively with all parts of society to find solutions to nature conservation challenges and to connect people to the nature that supports us all. CPAWS-NB has led public campaigns that have resulted in over 150,000 hectares of new protected areas in New Brunswick. Visit website.

Conservation Council of New Brunswick established in 1969 and remains the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us. Visit website.

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