CCIUCN 2018 Priority Initiative: The Biodiversity Communications Deficit in Canada

Most if not all of our member organizations have communications programs related to biodiversity, so there is no shortage of work being done to improve Canadians’ awareness of the importance of nature. Despite all that effort we aren’t achieving the goals and targets in Canada’s Biodiversity Strategy, and we won’t achieve them until we can communicate the beauty of nature and its many values to society in a way that drives the right policy decisions and enough conservation action to stop the loss.

The importance of this was recognized in the first Aichi Target, which is to ensure “people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to help conserve it.”

In the Biodiversity Strategy for Canada, this need is also reflected in Goal D. Progress has been made, including government’s recent investment of $1.5 billion over five years to reach Target 1 of this strategy by conserving 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water and 10 percent of our coastal and marine areas by 2020. But there are 18 other targets in Canada’s strategy and as we count down to the end of the 2020 phase of the Aichi targets and the upcoming World Conservation Congress in 2020, we need to re-examine our communications and how it is best linked to achieving the other objectives. We will also need to coordinate our work with others across the IUCN to encourage countries to meet their financial commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity, for members to share ideas and to maximize our impact.

CCIUCN 2018 Priority Initiative: Engagement in the Post-2020 Strategy Plan

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) launched an open process for stakeholders to provide their perspectives for potential items for Canada’s position paper for the upcoming meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The 4 key areas ECCC wanted input on were:

1) The Structure and Alignment of Global Targets (e.g. Should the current set of Aichi targets of 5 goals and 20 targets be changed?)

2) Gaps and Opportunities (e.g. What are the gaps that should be filled in a post-2020 strategic plan?)

3) Ambition and Accountability (e.g. Are more ambitious targets needed or is it more ambitious action that we need?)

4) Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Sectors (e.g. Are there specific sectors such as mining, forestry and agriculture, where it would be relevant and possible to have sector-specific targets in the context of the post-2020 strategic plan for biodiversity?

Next steps – Canada’s Approach to the Post 2020 Process

ECCC will finalize consolidating the views and produce a document that will be shared with the discussion group. In the fall, ECCC will reinitiate meetings with the post 2020 discussion group to get input/views on these possible Canadian positions.

The documents and other relevant information will be considered in formally developing Canadian positions for key CBD meetings, including COP-14 (Nov. 2018), SBSTTA-23 (Nov. 2019) and SBI-3 (June 2020). At the end of the process, ECCC will be making recommendations to upper levels of government for a decision on Canada’s negotiating mandate ahead of COP-15 where the post-2020 international strategic plan on biodiversity will be considered.S

CCIUCN 2018 Priority Initiative: Pathway to Canada Target 1

Pathway to Canada Target 1 is the nation-wide initiative to develop a plan to achieve Canada’s international biodiversity commitment to conserve at least 17 per cent of its land and freshwater by 2020 through a coordinated network of protected areas, Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs), and other conservation measures.

Its achievement will require the collective contribution of federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations, municipalities and local governments, non-profit organizations and the private sector. It will also require reconciliation and a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples. A National Advisory Panel and Indigenous Circle of Experts were formed as part of the Pathway initiative to provide recommendations to federal, provincial and territorial ministers on meeting Target 1.

The recommendations of the National Advisory Panel (NAP) and the Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) were submitted to federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for parks, protected areas, conservation, wildlife and biodiversity in the spring of 2018. These recommendations will inform the federal-provincial-territorial plan to achieve Canada Target 1. The federal-provincial-territorial plan to achieve Canada Target 1 will be announced in the near future.

Related resources, including reports, videos and information sheets, are available on the Pathway to Canada Target 1 website:

Additional information and resources provided here:

CCIUCN 2018 Priority Initiative: #NatureForAll:

After hearing from members at the 2018 AGM in January, the CCIUCN Board of Directors committed to helping advance the IUCN #NatureForAll movement in Canada. Board members James Bartram (VP of Education and Youth, Ocean Wise) and Dawn Carr (Executive Director, Canadian Parks Council) are working together to help communicate and reach out to members to learn how we can better work collectively through the CCIUCN network to grow Canada’s love for nature.

The #NatureForAll movement continues to expand, with 250+ partner organizations, 55+ #NatureForAll Success Stories, and 20+ blog posts. Have a look at the latest newsletter to discover: #NatureForAll Success Stories, the #NatureForAll blog, and; #NatureForAll partner activities.

In Canada, over 30+ organizations have partnered with #NatureForAll global — many of whom are CCIUCN members — and discussions are taking place to determine how we can coordinate efforts to leverage each other’s reach and influence. If we all work together to engage Canadians in ways that foster a lifelong commitment to conservation, and communicate those efforts exponentially, we will activate #NatureForAll and shift momentum to consistently favour nature as a critical determinant of our future health and wellbeing.

Are you interested in learning more? Do you have ideas that we could act on through the CCIUCN to support #NatureForAll?  We are interested in hearing from you!

Here are a few examples of recent and upcoming actions led by the CCIUCN and its members:

  • CCIUCN members showcased #NatureForAll initiatives with interactive displays and a special session at the IUCN Communities, Conservation and Livelihoods Conference in Halifax, May 28 to 30, 2018.
  • CCIUCN members are also advancing #NatureForAll through the Canada Service Corps – Youth Service Program with Canadian Wildlife Federation and Ocean Wise leading national pilots and several members are applying for regional programs.
  • #NatureForAll is an embedded premise of Parks For All: An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community, to be launched this summer, which is supported by numerous members of the CCIUCN community including the Canadian Parks Council.