2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada

Quote from The Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories

 

“Biodiversity is important to the people of the Northwest Territories. Wildlife, water and the environment are integral to the wellbeing of all Northwest Territories residents and will be forever linked to the culture of our communities. The Government of the Northwest Territories supports Canada’s 2020 goals and targets.”

-- The Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories

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Quote from The Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Government of Manitoba

 

“Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets align with initiatives already underway in Manitoba as outlined in “TomorrowNow-Manitoba’s Green Plan”, an eight-year strategy that will protect the environment while ensuring a sustainable economy in Manitoba. I look forward to collaborating with my federal, provincial and territorial counterparts to protect biodiversity across our country. “

-- The Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship, Government of Manitoba

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Quote from The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of Environment, Government of Saskatchewan

 

“The Government of Saskatchewan, through the Ministry of Environment, is supportive of Canada’s aspirational 2020 biodiversity goals and targets, and the reporting on progress at the national level. All Canadians have a role in contributing towards each target. Conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources is a shared responsibility.”

-- The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of Environment, Government of Saskatchewan

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Canada’s biodiversity goals and targets for 2020 complement the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy and the Biodiversity Outcomes Framework, and focus on Canada’s biodiversity priorities in the coming years. They will guide further action on the conservation and sustainable use of living resources in Canada and provide the basis for measuring and reporting on progress. Canada’s national goals and targets support the global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 adopted by Canada and other Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010. These goals and targets are aspirational objectives that Canada will strive to achieve by 2020 and are intended to encourage and promote collective action. They are goals and targets for Canada as a whole and progress will be reported at the national level.

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Preamble

In order to achieve their long-term biodiversity outcomes, federal, provincial and territorial governments developed the following set of new medium-term goals and targets. These aspirational goals and targets describe results to be achieved through the collective efforts of a diversity of players both public and private whose actions and decisions have an impact on biodiversity. Governments need to do their part but cannot act alone.

Implementation of the goals and targets will rely on meaningful, full and effective participation of Aboriginal peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In this respect, while Aboriginal traditional knowledge and customary use of biological resources are specifically highlighted under targets 12 and 15, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Aboriginal communities are relevant for implementing all of Canada’s biodiversity goals and targets, as is protecting and encouraging customary use of biological resources compatible with their conservation and sustainable use.

Local communities, urban and regional governments, business and industry, conservation and stewardship groups, educational and scientific institutions and citizens are also all able to contribute.  Canadians are invited to commit to doing their part and to share the results of their efforts.

  • Target 1. By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. More information on Target 1...

  • Target 2. By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans. More information on Target 2...

  • Target 3. By 2020, Canada's wetlands are conserved or enhanced to sustain their ecosystem services through retention, restoration and management activities. More information on Target 3...

  • Target 4. By 2020, biodiversity considerations are integrated into municipal planning and activities of major municipalities across Canada. More information on Target 4...

  • Target 5. By 2020, the ability of Canadian ecological systems to adapt to climate change is better understood, and priority adaptation measures are underway. More information on Target 5...

  • Target 6. By 2020, continued progress is made on the sustainable management of Canada's forests. More information on Target 6...

  • Target 7. By 2020, agricultural working landscapes provide a stable or improved level of biodiversity and habitat capacity. More information on Target 7...

  • Target 8. By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (including marine, freshwater and land based) in ways that conserve biodiversity. More information on Target 8...

  • Target 9. By 2020, all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches. More information on Target 9...

  • Target 10. By 2020, pollution levels in Canadian waters, including pollution from excess nutrients, are reduced or maintained at levels that support healthy aquatic ecosystems. More information on Target 10...

  • Target 11. By 2020, pathways of invasive alien species introductions are identified, and risk-based intervention or management plans are in place for priority pathways and species. More information on Target 11...

  • Target 12. By 2020, customary use by Aboriginal peoples of biological resources is maintained, compatible with their conservation and sustainable use. More information on Target 12...

  • Target 13. By 2020, innovative mechanisms for fostering the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied. More information on Target 13...

  • Target 14. By 2020, the science base for biodiversity is enhanced and knowledge of biodiversity is better integrated and more accessible. More information on Target 14...

  • Target 15. By 2020, Aboriginal traditional knowledge is respected, promoted and, where made available by Aboriginal peoples, regularly, meaningfully and effectively informing biodiversity conservation and management decision-making. More information on Target 15...

  • Target 16. By 2020, Canada has a comprehensive inventory of protected spaces that includes private conservation areas. More information on Target 16...

  • Target 17. By 2020, measures of natural capital related to biodiversity and ecosystem services are developed on a national scale, and progress is made in integrating them into Canada's national statistical system. More information on Target 17...

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Goal A. By 2020, Canada's lands and waters are planned and managed using an ecosystem approach to support biodiversity conservation outcomes at local, regional and national scales.

Target 1. By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

Indicators:

  • Percentage of total terrestrial territory (including inland water) conserved in protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures
  • Percentage of total coastal and marine territory conserved in marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada's natural spaces are a vital component of our culture, heritage, economy and our future, and they are of global importance. Canada's forests, wetlands, prairies, tundra and oceans provide essential ecosystem services. Approximately 30% of the world's boreal forest, 20% of the world's freshwater resources, the world's longest coastline and one of the world's largest marine territories are ours to enjoy, protect and share. Canada's natural areas include critical habitat for species at risk on land and at sea, thousands of lakes and rivers that provide drinking water and energy, and forests and wetlands that store greenhouse gases, produce oxygen and regulate flooding.

Protecting these important areas from degradation is one of our key means of conserving biodiversity in Canada and is vital in maintaining the ecosystem services provided by these areas. Canada's parks and protected areas provide a living legacy for future generations of Canadians, affording opportunities for people to discover and learn about nature. Canada has made great progress through the creation of national, provincial, and municipal parks and many other types of conservation areas that complement the role of protected areas in conserving nature. As pressures that threaten to degrade natural areas continue to increase, even greater effort is required to protect our land and water through a variety of means.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 11.

Meeting the target

As of 2013, approximately 10% of Canada's terrestrial territory, and about 1% of Canada's marine territory is conserved within protected areas. The majority of this area is within federal, provincial and territorial protected areas networks. The expansion of these networks will make a significant contribution toward the national target of conserving 17% of our land and 10% of our marine area by 2020. In addition, all sectors of society, including business, the non-profit sector, landowners and citizens have an important role to play in conserving natural areas in their community and on private land. It will be important to continue to focus on areas that are ecologically representative and important for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to ensure that these areas are well-connected and effectively managed. Further, there is a need to integrate these areas into the wider landscapes and seascapes in which they are situated.

Key concepts

Terrestrial areas and inland water: All land and water above the high-tide line including lakes, rivers, and streams.

Coastal and marine areas: Coastline below the high-tide line, coastal estuaries and salt marshes, and ocean waters contained within Canada's marine territory.

Protected area: A clearly defined geographical space recognized, dedicated, and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Other effective area-based conservation measures (OCM): Spatially explicit measures that are focused on long-term conservation, address threats to biodiversity, and provide a net conservation benefit, but are not formally designated protected areas. Canada is engaging in domestic and international conservations about how OCM will be tracked and reported.

How will progress be measured?

The area of land and water that is protected in Canada is a measure of human response to the loss of biodiversity and natural habitat. The two indicators for this target rely on up-to-date data on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures in Canada, both on land and at sea. Progress is currently monitored, tracked and reported using data from the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System under the auspices of the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators, and from Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Parks Canada.  These sources capture information on protected areas and, increasingly capture information on private protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. By 2020, this data will provide a comprehensive picture of all the protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures in Canada. For up to date information on the extent of Canada’s protected areas, please consult the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators on protected areas and the Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2012-2015. Target 16 (By 2020, Canada has a comprehensive inventory of protected spaces that includes private conservation areas), highlights this effort.

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Target 2. By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.

Indicators:

  • Species at risk population trends (i.e. trends in population sizes of species at risk compared to federal recovery strategy objectives)
  • Changes in wildlife species disappearance risks
  • Trends in the general status of wild species

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada is home to a unique variety of plants and animals. These species not only represent Canada's rich biodiversity, but are also an integral part of Canadians' natural and cultural heritage. Each species plays a key role in maintaining the overall health of ecosystems – ensuring the health of native populations of species is fundamental to preserving Canada's biodiversity and the benefits that it provides. However, the well-being of some of these species is under threat. Canada currently has over 500 species that are legally listed under federal law as “at risk”, largely as a result of habitat disturbance and loss, competition from invasive alien species, and environmental changes resulting from climate change and pollution. When a plant or an animal is determined to be at risk under federal law, plans for its recovery or management must be made. Concerted effort at local, provincial, territorial and federal levels is essential to ensure improvements in the condition of species and meet the objectives laid out in recovery strategies.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 12.

Meeting the target

Canada's approach aims to prevent wildlife species from becoming extinct by securing the necessary actions for their recovery, while managing other species to prevent them from becoming at risk. Meeting this target will involve continued consultation and cooperation with Canadians on the protection of species in Canada. Sustained work at the federal, provincial and territorial levels and with Aboriginal governments and communities, to promote partnerships and stewardship activities in order to maintain healthy population of species, protect species at risk and their habitat, and to implement national and local laws and strategies will be essential. The Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, which commits Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to a common approach to protecting species at risk, the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and activities under programs such as the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk are key components of a Canadian strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. All provinces and territories have species at risk or wildlife legislation that mandates the protection of species and habitat.

Continued cooperation beyond Canada's borders is needed to address the many species at risk that have only a small portion of their global or continental range in Canada. Recovery strategies aim to make certain that the Canadian portion of these species' recovery needs is ensured. Species vary greatly in their recovery needs and the length of time it can take to see improvement in population numbers or distribution - hundreds of years in some cases. For this reason, improvement may be difficult to detect by 2020 in some species. As a result, the Species at Risk target focuses on the objectives established for each species in their Canadian recovery strategy or management plan. Progress will be measured in terms of trends toward recovery by 2020 detected during regular reassessment exercises.

Key concepts

Federally listed species at risk: Species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Note that provinces and territories can and do assess and list species within their jurisdictions independent of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and SARA processes.

National reassessment: As conducted by COSEWIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. COSEWIC is a committee of wildlife experts who assess the status of wildlife species populations that may be at risk of disappearing from Canada. COSEWIC designations are taken into consideration by the government of Canada when establishing the legal list of wildlife species at risk.

Population and distribution trends: Species listed under the Species at Risk Act require either a Management Plan (special Concern) or a Recovery Strategy (unless extinct), which contains population and distribution objectives.

Secure species: Species that are not believed to belong in the categories “extirpated”, “extinct”, “at risk”, “may be at risk”, “sensitive”, “accidental” or “exotic” as described in the Wild Species series of reports on the general status of species. This category includes some species that show a trend of decline in numbers in Canada but remain relatively widespread or abundant.

Wildlife species: A species, subspecies, variety or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and is either native to Canada or has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years.

How will progress be measured?

The indicators for this target are part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI), which provides data and information to track Canada's performance on key environmental sustainability issues.

The Species at Risk Population Trends indicator provides an assessment of the recovery trends of species that i) are included on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), ii) have a final recovery strategy or management plan that contains population goals, iii) are determined to be biologically and technically feasible to recover, and iv) have been reassessed by COSEWIC since the final recovery document (recovery strategy or management plan) was published. The data for this indicator are compiled from a number of sources. 1) Recovery goals and objectives are drawn from final recovery strategies of species listed as Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under SARA. Final and proposed species recovery strategiesFootnote1 are made available to the public through the Species at Risk Public Registry. 2) Management plans contain goals and objectives that relate to the prevention of Special concern species from becoming Threatened or Endangered. Like recovery strategies, final and proposed species management plans are made available to the public through the Species at Risk Public Registry. 3) Population trends are extracted from the most recent COSEWIC assessments, which are also available through the Species at Risk Public Registry.

The Changes in Wildlife Species Disappearance Risks indicator uses the findings of COSEWIC to report on changes in the status of species in Canada. The indicator measures conservation effectiveness and was developed in partnership with the COSEWIC Secretariat at Environment Canada. Data are drawn from COSEWIC Wildlife Species Status Reports, which are available through the Species at Risk Public Registry.

The General Status of Species in Canada indicator summarizes the state of all species within a set of targeted species groups. The general status indicator provides a measure of potential extinction risk and an indication of the overall state of biodiversity in Canada, since the loss of a species is a loss of biodiversity. Data for the indicator are drawn from the Wild Species reports (CESCC 2001; CESCC 2006; CESCC 2011), which are compiled every 5 years from existing information and expertise to develop general status ranks for as many species as possible.

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Target 3. By 2020, Canada's wetlands are conserved or enhanced to sustain their ecosystem services through retention, restoration and management activities.

Indicator:

  • Habitat area retained, managed, and restored under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada is home to 25 percent of the world's wetlands, which include bogs, fens, swamps, marshes and shallow/open waters. Wetlands are directly responsible for a number of ecosystem services that Canadians rely upon, such as flood and drought control, water filtration, erosion control, protecting communities from storm surge, and storing of substantial quantities of greenhouse gases, as well as offering opportunities for outdoor recreation, education, hunting and fishing. Furthermore, wetlands are key to the lifecycles of a huge range of plants and animals, including one-third of Canada's species at risk. Yet, despite their importance, wetland degradation is continuing and loss has now reached critical levels in many areas of the country. In order to reduce the negative effects of wetland loss, there is a need to ensure that remaining wetlands are conserved and utilized in a sustainable manner so that the benefits of wetlands continue to be provided. Conserving and enhancing Canadian wetlands will benefit wildlife and plant species, ensure the maintenance of vital ecosystem services, and contribute to the health and well-being of Canadians.

Meeting the target

This target highlights the important role that stewards of Canada's wetlands have in maintaining the health and wellbeing of a vital ecosystem that benefits all Canadians. In fact, great efforts to protect and preserve wetlands are underway. The North American Waterfowl Management Plan, for example, working with private landowners and governments, has reduced the rate of loss and degradation since 1986 by protecting wetlands, establishing conservation agreements, and influencing stewardship activities of landowners, farmers, land managers and conservation agencies. Protected areas, established by governments, and other types of conservation areas established by private land owners, conservation organizations, and local communities, have preserved millions of hectares of wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada is leading the development of a Canadian Wetlands Inventory and Environment Canada is developing the Wetlands Indicator under the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) initiative. Both projects build on the mapping efforts of all jurisdictions by creating standards for detecting, classifying and mapping wetlands by the different wetland types across Canada. Despite these efforts, declines and degradation continue. Continued commitment and collaboration by many players, including agricultural users, municipal and regional land use planners, developers, industry and recreational users will be vital.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 4, 5, 14 and 15.

Key concepts

Ecosystem Services: The materials that ecosystems provide (e.g. food, fuel, fibre, medicine); the ways that ecosystems regulate environmental conditions (e.g. clean the air and water, prevent soil erosion, reduce the spread of disease, mitigate impacts of climate); and their contributions to cultural life (e.g. education, recreation, inspiration, physical and mental health including cognitive development).

Enhancement: Actions carried out on wetland or upland habitats to increase their carrying capacity for wildlife and their ability to provide ecosystem services (see also Restoration).

Retention: The protection (or preservation) of functional wetlands for ecosystem services and the provision of suitable habitat for wildlife.

Management: Activities conducted on wetland or upland habitats to manage and maintain their carrying capacity for wildlife and their ability to provide ecosystem services.

Restoration: The creation or improvement of wetlands and the ecosystem services that they provide.

Wetland: A land that is saturated with water long enough to promote wetland or aquatic processes as indicated by poorly drained soils, hydrophytic vegetation, and various kinds of biological activity which are adapted to a wet environment.

How will progress be measured?

The indicator for this target reports on the amount of Canadian wetland and associated upland habitat that has been retained, managed, and restored through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) to support waterfowl and other wetland dependent species. These activities are measured within NAWMP's four Habitat Joint Ventures: Pacific Coast (Canada portion only); Canadian Intermountain; Eastern Habitat; and Prairie Habitat, including the Western Boreal Forest region.

The Extent of Canada’s wetlands is a related indicator that is part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators program. The indicator is a measure of the extent of Canadian wetlands, and provides a baseline from which change can be measured.

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Target 4. By 2020, biodiversity considerations are integrated into municipal planning and activities of major municipalities across Canada.

Indicators:

  • The number of medium and large population centres that have developed biodiversity conservation strategies
  • The number of medium and large population centres that have biodiversity objectives in municipal planning documents

Why is this target important for Canada?

Approximately 80 percent of the Canadian population currently lives in urban areas and that number is expected to reach 90 percent by 2050. The total area of urban land in Canada almost doubled between 1971 and 2001. Although urban areas occupy a relatively small portion of Canada, they are often situated in places particularly rich in biodiversity, such as coastal areas, river valleys, and on the shores of lakes, so the impact of habitat loss occurring from urbanization may be disproportionate relative to the area disturbed. Urban expansion can also alter watersheds, degrading water quality for aquatic biodiversity and increasing vulnerability to flooding. The importance of healthy ecosystems in urban settings has become better understood in recent years. Some of the benefits for urban dwellers of increased green space include cleaner air, respite from hot summer temperatures, opportunities for recreation, and more. For cities, naturalized areas not only create attractive neighbourhoods, but natural riverbanks and adequate groundcover can help with flood control and reduce storm water runoff. Municipalities are uniquely positioned to play a significant role by developing locally tailored biodiversity solutions.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 2.

Meeting the target

A number of Canadian municipalities are already working directly and indirectly on biodiversity activities through their planning, awareness-raising, decision-making, and service delivery initiatives. For example, the City of Edmonton is a leader in biodiversity protection and has made education on the importance of biodiversity a major local effort. The City has mainstreamed biodiversity through urban design and recognized the roles different stakeholders and the community can play to move sustainability and ecosystem conservation efforts forward. In addition, Montreal and Ottawa were among the cities that contributed to the development of the City and Biodiversity Index, an internationally developed self-assessment tool designed to help evaluate urban conservation efforts and progress in reducing the rate of biodiversity loss in urban ecosystems. At the provincial level, Ontario's Biodiversity Strategy 2011 highlighted the importance of biodiversity conservation in the urban context, and Quebec developed a guide on urbanization and biodiversity for planners and municipal staff that identifies tools and best practices to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban areas. Canada's national municipal organizations, including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI-Canada, have also actively emphasized the value of biodiversity in the urban context and importance of integrating biodiversity considerations at the municipal level. At the federal level, the bill to formally establish Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area was tabled in June 2014, and Parks Canada completed a large-scale public engagement process on the park's first draft management plan. Meeting this target will require continued and more systematic efforts to integrate biodiversity into municipal policies, plans and programmes. Progress toward this target will be measured continuously as municipalities across the country recognize the importance of biodiversity through the development of biodiversity conservation strategies and integration of biodiversity objectives in municipal plans and activities.

Key concepts

Major municipalities: Medium and large population centres, according to Statistics Canada definitions:

  • small population centres, with a population of between 1,000 and 29,999;
  • medium population centres, with a population of between 30,000 and 99,999;
  • large urban population centres, consisting of a population of 100,000 and over.

In 2011, Statistics Canada reported 85 medium and large population centres in Canada, and 857 small population centres.

How will progress be measured?

The two indicators proposed for this target rely on data from individual municipalities as well as municipal associations and networks. Environment Canada would work with partners to survey the municipalities associated with Canada's 85 medium and large population centres to gather the relevant data. Case studies showcasing municipal activities that integrate biodiversity considerations could also be gathered.

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Target 5. By 2020, the ability of Canadian ecological systems to adapt to climate change is better understood, and priority adaptation measures are underway.

Indicators:

  • Completion of assessments of the vulnerability of ecological systems and biodiversity to climate change in sectors and regions across Canada that identify priority areas and species of greatest concern
  • The number and extent of management, land use and development plans completed and implemented that integrate explicit consideration of adaptation to facilitate or enhance the resilience and sustainable use of species and areas of greatest concern

Why is this target important for Canada?

The effects of climate change are being noted around the world. In Canada, temperatures are increasing with widespread impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems, including shifts in the range of ecosystems, altered migration and breeding times, changes in natural disturbance regimes, and shifts in the distribution, productivity and abundance of species. Changes in climate can affect biodiversity either directly or indirectly as a result of, for instance, temperature and precipitation changes, shifts in seasons, and frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and other natural disturbances such as fires. In addition to presenting new challenges, climate change exacerbates many of the most significant existing threats to biodiversity, such as habitat change and invasive species.

The impacts are being and will continue to be felt by Canadians across the country. In northern communities, where changes are occurring fastest, warmer ground temperatures leading to thawing permafrost are causing damage to buildings and roads and in coastal communities increasing storm frequency and intensity hasten coastal erosion and cause property damage. For an economy such as Canada's, where natural resources play an important role, the effects of climate change could be significant, affecting hunting, fishing, and forest, ocean and crop management and related industries. All communities will be impacted by these changes.  

In order to develop effective adaptation measures, we first need to understand the adaptive capacity of Canada's biophysical systems; we need to know where, when and how to respond, and be able to monitor and report on changes over time. A focus on implementing adaptive measures for priority areas and species of concern allows Canada to begin addressing the most pressing climate change impacts on biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem resiliency while recognizing that more needs to be done.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 19.

Meeting the target

To meet this target, governments and stakeholders across Canada will need to work collaboratively to identify the key vulnerabilities of ecological systems and biodiversity to climate change and better understand and facilitate the capacity of key areas and species to adapt to the most pressing impacts. Activities by a variety of organizations are underway. Efforts to assess and monitor ocean acidification are being undertaken by various academic organizations and non-government organizations. Under its Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is conducting a series of aquatic basin-scale assessments that, among other things, will consider both ecosystem and socio-economic climate impacts, with obvious implications for biodiversity. Through the Climate Change Adaptation Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is supporting Aboriginal and northern communities to address risks and challenges posed by climate change impacts and to become more resilient. The Canadian Forest Service's Forest Change Initiative, when complete, will include a tracking system document past trends and future projections of forest change across Canada for a range of indicators; an adaptation toolkit including maps, decision-support systems, syntheses of information and adaptation options, to support forest management in a changing climate; and an integrated assessment of the implications of climate change on Canada's forests and forest sector. The Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Climate Change Task Force has developed a suite of reports and guidebooks to help guide adaptation of the forest sector. In June 2014, Natural Resources Canada published a new science assessment, Canada in a Changing Climate - Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation which includes a chapter on biodiversity and protected areas. Provincial and territorial governments are taking action on adaptation. BC, Ontario, Quebec, and the Territories have released stand-alone adaptation strategies; others are in development. Alberta has assessed both risks and opportunities related to the changing climate and is using this information to take strategic action. Some municipalities are demonstrating leadership in adaptation planning. Toronto and Vancouver, for instance, have adaptation strategies in place. Monitoring and reporting on changes in biodiversity over time using a variety of tracking mechanisms will be important for identifying adverse trends as a basis for developing, implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation measures.

Key concepts

Adaptive capacity: The ability of biophysical and socio-economic systems to adapt to changing circumstances on an ongoing basis.

Adaptation measures: Actions that respond to actual or potential changes in biodiversity resulting from climate change. These can include activities by institutions, governments, business or the public to respond to current or projected impacts.

Vulnerability: The degree to which an ecosystem or a socio-economic system (a populated area, for example) is susceptible to adverse impacts of climate change. Vulnerability is a function of many factors, including the nature of the impacts, the degree to which the system is exposed, its sensitivity to change, and its resilience, or ability to absorb the impact.

How will progress be measured?

The indicators proposed for this target rely on the cooperation of all jurisdictions to review and report progress. Ongoing or recently completed reports relevant to the first indicator include the joint federal, provincial, territorial Ecosystem Status and Trends Reports. The second indicator contains multiple measures, including the number and extent of plans completed, and the number and extent of plans implemented.

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Goal B. By 2020, direct and indirect pressures as well as cumulative effects on biodiversity are reduced, and production and consumption of Canada's biological resources are more sustainable.

Target 6. By 2020, continued progress is made on the sustainable management of Canada's forests.

Indicators:

  • Relevant indicators drawn from the existing suite of indicators in the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) Criteria and Indicators (C&I) Framework

Why is this target Important for Canada?

Forests are essential to the long term well-being of Canada's communities, economy, and environment. As stewards of 9% of the world's forests, Canada is dedicated to maintaining its forests in a healthy state and to managing them in a sustainable manner.

Continued progress on sustainable forest management (SFM) is important to Canada, for several reasons. These include ensuring that Canada's forests continue to provide species habitat along with a range of ecosystem services including air and water filtration and carbon sequestration, particularly in the face of ecological challenges such as climate change. Sustainably managed forests provide significant economic benefits and are important to rural economies and livelihoods. In addition, domestic and international consumers increasingly expect that forest products will come from sustainably managed forests, and our commitment to sustainable forest management allows Canada to access markets that would otherwise be unavailable. Canada has a strong record of managing its forests sustainably but we need to build on that record in order to realize the full range of economic, environmental, and social benefits from our forests.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 4, 5 and 7.

Meeting the target

As a world leader in sustainable forest management, Canada has taken major steps to promote SFM and will continue to do so. The federal government has invested significantly in programs which lay the groundwork for a greener and more sustainable future for the forest sector, and will continue to support the emergence of transformative technologies. Provinces and territories, which are largely responsible for managing Canada's forests, including harvesting and renewal, are taking ongoing steps to strengthen management practices and regulations. Each province and territory sets an annual allowable cut based on the sustainable growth rate of a forest area, while considering economic, social and ecological factors including biodiversity. The federal government and others will continue to provide science-based knowledge to manage the risks and minimize the impact of forest resource development, including through the production of the National Forest Inventory which incorporates new economic and biophysical information on Canada's forests. These and other measures position Canada well to make progress on SFM by 2020.

Key concepts

Sustainable forest management (SFM): Management that maintains and enhances the long-term health of forest ecosystems for the benefit of all living things while providing environmental, economic, social, and cultural opportunities for present and future generations. (Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, 2008)

How will progress be measured?

Canada is well-positioned to report on progress toward SFM with a comprehensive, science-based framework of indicators that is broadly supported by Canadian stakeholders and closely aligned with internationally-agreed frameworks of indicators for measuring progress toward SFM.

The National Framework of Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management is used as the basis for national and international reporting and includes 6 criteria and 46 indicators that describe a range of environmental, economic, social and cultural values. No single indicator can accurately portray progress toward sustainability. Within the framework, the Canadian Forest Service currently reports on several indicators under the criteria “biodiversity” and “ecosystem condition and productivity”, as well as others related to the sustainable use of forest resources. Using the CCFM criteria and indicators framework to report on progress towards this target will reduce Canada's reporting burden and increase the consistency of information among a number of reporting products. For up to date information see the State of Canada’s forests report, 2017.

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Target 7. By 2020, agricultural working landscapes provide a stable or improved level of biodiversity and habitat capacity.

Indicators:

  • Wildlife habitat capacity on farmland
  • Environmental farm planning on agricultural land

Why is this target important for Canada?

Agricultural production benefits from the ecosystem services biodiversity provides, such as nutrient cycling, soil formation, water purification and pollination. At the same time, agricultural working landscapes can support biodiversity, providing important habitat for wildlife in Canada. Agricultural areas in Canada often contain many different types of landscapes, including cropland, pastures, grasslands, forests, wetlands and water bodies, including many undisturbed natural areas. Over the past 20 years there has been a decline in the capacity of agricultural lands to support the habitat needs of species, due in large part to the conversion of natural areas to cropland and agricultural intensification on existing farmland, as well as increased risk of nutrient contamination. Improving biodiversity on agricultural lands is key to sustaining natural systems, maintaining water quality and quantity, supporting pollinators, improving wildlife habitat and connectivity, and making agro-ecosystems better able to recover and adapt to environmental stresses such as drought.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 5 and 7.

Meeting the target

Meeting this target will involve continued improvement of the management of agricultural landscapes at a number of levels. At the farm level, Canada's farmers can implement practices that increase diversity on their farm such as planting shelterbelts and windbreaks and the use of riparian buffers, and integrating practices like crop rotation, strip cropping and agroforestry which also benefit production. Municipal and Provincial governments can influence biodiversity through land use planning in the broader agricultural landscape while responding to ongoing pressures from agricultural landscape conversion, urban encroachment, transportation, industry and other uses in these landscapes that impact biodiversity. The federal government can continue to promote biodiversity conservation and foster better opportunities for farmers and all Canadians through agricultural research and innovation. At the same time, industry can continue to develop and champion agro-environmental technologies and practices that support productivity and biodiversity – such as the practices recognized by the Canadian Cattleman's Association's annual Environmental Stewardship Award.

Key concepts

Agricultural working landscapes: Land used for crops, pasture, and livestock; the adjacent uncultivated land that supports other vegetation and wildlife; and the associated atmosphere, the underlying soils, groundwater, and drainage networks.

How will progress be measured?

The first indicator for this target, Wildlife habitat capacity on agricultural land, provides a multi-species assessment of broad-scale trends in the capacity of the Canadian agricultural landscape to provide suitable habitat for populations of terrestrial vertebrates. It does not cover flora, soil or invertebrates. Data for this indicator are gathered from the Canadian Census of Agriculture, thus land use outside the agricultural extent (i.e. area not included in the census of agriculture) such as forestry and urban is not included. The second indicator provides the percentage of farms in Canada that have a formal written Environmental Farm Plan, and the percent for which plans are under development.

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Target 8. By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (including marine, freshwater and land based) in ways that conserve biodiversity.

Indicator:

  • The extent to which aquaculture is managed under a science-based environmental regulatory framework

Why is this target Important for Canada?

Aquaculture typically includes the cultivation of aquatic species, usually for commercial harvest, processing, sale and consumption. Commercial aquaculture in Canada contributes nearly 30% of the total value of Canadian fish and seafood production. Salmon is the main species farmed in Canada, making up 70% of total production volume. Aquaculture operations have been established in every Canadian province and in Yukon. Canadian aquaculture contributes more than $2 billion of total economic activity. Canada is well positioned to benefit from sustainable aquaculture. Continued active and responsive management is essential to ensure the health of ecosystems in which aquaculture takes place. With the world's longest coastline and productive salt and freshwater resources, Canada has a reputation for safe, high-quality fish and seafood products produced in an environmentally sustainable manner. Environmental impacts are mitigated by management actions and regulations informed by dedicated aquaculture science in order to foster a sustainable and innovative industry that remains globally competitive.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 4 and 7.

Meeting the target

Aquaculture management is an area of shared jurisdiction in Canada among the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Current initiatives include regulatory reform to increase transparency and coordination between these regulatory partners. In this context, the federal, provincial and territorial governments work with industry and other stakeholders, and with Aboriginal communities and groups to advance sustainable aquaculture management. In addition, the National Aquaculture Strategic Action Plan Initiative provides a comprehensive strategic vision for the sector, which requires action on the part of all key players. To guide the pursuit of sustainable aquaculture development in Canada, the overall objective for environmental protection has been identified in this initiative as maintaining healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems as a condition for aquaculture development. Fisheries and Oceans Canada publicly reports information on the sustainability of the sector and the environmental management regime under the Fisheries Act. Through its website, Fisheries and Oceans Canada also reports on aquaculture science activities, research results and peer-reviewed advice related to sustainable aquaculture.

Key concepts

Aquatic resources: Freshwater and marine animals and plants, and their habitat.

Areas under aquaculture: Areas and sites such as freshwater ponds and lakes, bays and recycling facilities, land-based aquaculture farms and open ocean where aquatic organisms are cultivated, including finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

Sustainable use: The use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long - term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. (Convention on Biological Diversity)

How will progress be measured?

The regulatory framework under the Fisheries Act sets environmental sustainability standards and requirements to support the sustainable use of Canada’s aquatic resources. The proposed indicator for this target would describe how aquaculture management, incorporating science advice, reduces direct and indirect pressures on biodiversity and supports the sustainable use of aquatic resources. Making sure that aquaculture operators comply with Fisheries Act standards and requirements helps to protect Canada’s aquatic environment and ensures that resources are available for the benefit of future generations. The Management of Canadian Aquaculture indicator, which is part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators program, measures aquaculture operators' levels of compliance with environmental regulations set out under the Fisheries Act. The approach to reporting on progress toward this target is adaptive and primarily reported through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans aquaculture public reporting under the Sustainable Aquaculture Program. The indicator is also reported through the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators and the 2015 Federal Sustainable Development Progress Report, Target 5.2.

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Target 9. By 2020, all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches.

Indicators:

  • Status of major fish stocks
  • Sustainable fish harvest

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada's fisheries provide a variety of socio-economic benefits, such as sustenance, employment, recreation, and access to traditional foods. However, where they occur, unsustainable fishing practices compromise biodiversity and the long-term well-being of fisheries. In order to ensure the future enjoyment of these benefits and the economic sustainability of commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries, it is important to protect and promote healthy ecosystems by avoiding destructive fishing practices, managing bycatch, recovering depleted stocks, and preventing overfishing.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 8.

Meeting the target

Canada is taking steps to ensure long-term sustainability of nationally managed fisheries by developing and implementing comprehensive fishery management plans supported by new policies and tools, monitoring, the best available science advice, and compliance and enforcement activities. The new policies and tools include those developed under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF), which provides an overarching science-based policy framework for the sustainable management of Canadian fisheries. The SFF is an adaptive framework; new policies and tools will be added over time to achieve the sustainable use of fisheries and evolve towards an ecosystem-based management approach of all fishing activity licensed or managed by Canada, including those outside of Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone. This will help ensure that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems, and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits. Progress will be defined as measured by the national Fishery Checklist.

Key concepts

Fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants: major harvested stocks managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (generally includes stocks with an annual landed value greater than $1 million or annual landed weight greater than 2,000 tonnes).

Ecosystem Approach (for fisheries management): Management approach by which fisheries management decisions consider the impact of the fishery not only on the target species, but also on non-target species, seafloor habitats, and the ecosystems of which these species are a part. This approach also encourages management decisions to take into account changes in the ecosystem which may affect the species being fished. This includes the effects of climate and climate change, and the interactions of target fish stocks with predators, competitors, and prey species. Under the ecosystem approach, fisheries management, decisions consider the needs and concerns of people who rely on and interact with the ecosystem.

How will progress be measured?

Both of the indicators for this target are currently reported on under the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators initiative. The first indicator,  Status of major fish stocks, reports the classification of 155 major fish stocks as “healthy,” “cautious” or “critical” categories. Information on aquatic plants is not included. The second indicator, Sustainable fish harvest, is based on the number of major stocks harvested relative to approved levels.

Target 10. By 2020, pollution levels in Canadian waters, including pollution from excess nutrients, are reduced or maintained at levels that support healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Indicators:

  • Phosphorus levels in the Great Lakes
  • Phosphorous levels in the St. Lawrence River
  • Regional freshwater quality in Canadian rivers
  • Change in the national freshwater quality indicator through time

Why is this target important for Canada?

Water quality varies widely across Canada because of the country's diverse geography and the different ways in which people have developed the land around rivers and lakes and on the coast. Surface and ground water in Canada is generally clean, however, it is sometimes locally or regionally polluted. Water quality is important for the maintenance of healthy lake, river and marine ecosystems. Clean water provides essential habitat for aquatic plants and animals, supports many commercial and industrial uses, and is at the heart of many recreational activities.

Pollution enters water bodies in a number of ways, including industrial and municipal discharge, runoff, spills, and deposition of airborne pollutants. Certain nutrients are important for aquatic ecosystem health, but can become pollutants at elevated levels. Phosphorus, for example, is a crucial nutrient for growth of plants and algae and a key regulator of the overall productivity of inland aquatic ecosystems and coastal watersheds, but elevated levels can be harmful to the health of freshwater ecosystems, negatively impacting fish and other wildlife, drinking water quality, swimming safety and the visual appearance of lakes. Lakes and rivers that are phosphorus-enriched have accelerated eutrophication and growth of aquatic plants and algae. This can occur when artificial or natural substances, such as nitrates and phosphates are added to an aquatic system from sources such as detergents and fertilizers. In Canada, phosphorus concentrations between 1990 and 2006 rose in over 20 percent of the water bodies sampled, including some of the Great Lakes where, 20 years ago, regulations successfully reduced nutrient inputs. Severe algal blooms in Lake Winnipeg, Lake Simcoe and blooms of cyanobacteria in eastern Canadian lakes have been occurring in recent years, as well as re-emerging problems in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and in other Canadian water bodies.

There is a need to act now, as there may be a significant lag between improved practices and reduced eutrophication due to the potential for soils to store phosphorous and other potential pollutants for decades. In addition to ensuring the conditions required to support aquatic biodiversity, protecting Canada's water sources from excess pollutants is necessary to provide the essential ecosystem services that people depend on, particularly clean safe water for personal use as well as for many aspects of our social and economic activity.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 8.

Meeting the target

Achieving this target will involve coordinating efforts to understand multiple sources and respond to the pollution of water bodies. Bilateral coordination between Canada and the United States will also be needed as the pollution and eutrophication of some Canadian waterways is heavily influenced by practices in the U.S. This target will aim to reduce pollution levels, including pollution from excess nutrients, in order to protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

Key concepts

Eutrophication (or hypertrophication): Also known as nutrient enrichment, eutrophication is the result of large amounts of nutrients being released into a water body leading to excessive amounts of aquatic plant growth. Over time, this excessive plant growth can naturally turn a lake into a bog and eventually into land. Most often, the nutrient phosphorous has the greatest effect on eutrophication because it tends to be more limited within freshwater environments. However, some environments are nitrogen deficient and more greatly influenced by changing levels of nitrogen. The eutrophication process can be accelerated by the release of nutrients from human activities such as from fertilizers used in agriculture and in our homes. This rapid transition is not beneficial for the fish and other organisms that live in lakes and have to cope with depleted oxygen levels due to the decomposition of plants, as well as changing biodiversity and species abundance.

How will progress be measured?

All of the indicators proposed for this target are currently reported on under the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) initiative. The first indicator compares average spring total phosphorus concentrations in the four Canadian Great Lakes to their water quality objectives to determine the status of phosphorus concentrations in offshore waters in each lake. The second indicator provides a measure of how frequently phosphorus concentrations exceed Quebec's water quality phosphorus guideline for the protection of aquatic life in the St. Lawrence River. The third and fourth indicators provide a regional and aregional overview of freshwater quality and a national overview of freshwater quality in Canada, based on Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Quality Index (WQI).

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Target 11. By 2020, pathways of invasive alien species introductions are identified, and risk-based intervention or management plans are in place for priority pathways and species.

Indicators:

  • Number of known new invasive alien species in Canada, by Federal Regulatory Status
  • Percent of federally regulated foreign invasive alien species not established in Canada
  • Number of intervention or management plans in place

Why is this target important for Canada?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), invasive alien species (IAS) are the most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Increasing numbers of invasive species are reaching Canada bringing serious ecological and socio-economic consequences. IAS in Canada account for at least 27% of all vascular plants, 181 insects, 24 birds, 26 mammals, 2 reptiles, 4 amphibians, several fungi and molluscs, 55 freshwater fish and an unknown number of species that have not yet been detected. There is a need to improve our understanding of the means by which such species are entering Canada, and to take action to prevent their entry and mitigate their impact should they become established.

IAS are harmful species of plants, animals, and micro-organisms that have been relocated to environments outside of their natural past or present distribution and whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy or society. Some of the better-known examples in Canada include Dutch elm disease, green crab, zebra mussel, and emerald ash borer. Since IAS may have no natural enemies in their new environments, their populations can grow unchecked and have the potential to cause significant damage to the habitats and food sources of native species. In turn, these IAS may impact regional economies and communities that rely for their livelihoods on the ecosystems and species impacted.

IAS are introduced through intentional and unintentional human action by air, land and water pathways. The key to dealing with invasive species is to identify the pathways of introduction - the routes they take to spread to new areas - and cut them off. IAS often arrive as hitchhikers on imported goods, like fruit, as stowaways in transportation or on the bottom of ships, or disease in wildlife. A key goal of this invasive alien species target and Canada's Invasive Alien Species Strategy is to avoid the introduction and establishment of such species in future.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 9.

Meeting the target

Achieving the target will involve coordinating and building on existing national and regional efforts to understand and respond to alien species introductions. Leveraging ongoing federal, provincial and territorial monitoring and reporting mechanisms to track the development of responses and their efficacy will also be an important contribution to meeting the target. In 2004, federal, provincial and territorial governments introduced An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada. A suite of legislative and regulatory measures underpin the Strategy including: Plant Protection Act, Seeds Act, Health of Animals Act, Pest Control Products Act, Canada Shipping Act, Fisheries Act, Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulations of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, and others. Provincial legislation and measures are also in place. This Strategy aims to minimize the risk of invasive alien species to the environment, economy, and society. One of the core components of the Strategy is cooperation among participating federal and provincial governments. Aboriginal governments, municipalities, and other stakeholders are also important contributors in responding to the challenges of invasive alien species. Invasive alien species councils, for example, established in 11 out of 13 provinces and territories, are multi-stakeholder bodies that play an important role in working with their partners to address the priorities of the Strategy, specifically in developing regional priorities and leveraging local actions to address invasive alien species.

Key concepts

Establishment: The process of an alien species in a new habitat successfully producing viable offspring with a likelihood of continued survival

Invasive alien species: An alien species whose introduction or spread threatens biological diversity, ecosystems, economies or human health

Introduction: The movement by human action, indirect or direct, of an alien species outside of its natural range (past or present). This movement can be either within a country or between countries or areas beyond national jurisdiction

Pathway: Any means that allows the entry or spread of a pest

Pest: Any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products

Priority species: Species that significantly impact biodiversity, present a high level of risk, and may be addressed in a cost effective manner.

Priority pathway: Pathways that have a significant impact on biodiversity, present a high level of risk, and may be addressed in a cost effective manner.

How will progress be measured?

The first two indicators for this target are part of the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program, which provides data and information to track Canada's performance on key environmental sustainability issues, and are reported as part of the Invasive alien species in Canada indicators.

The number of known new IAS includes all foreign IAS (whether regulated or not by the federal government) identified as having become established in Canada each year subsequent to the baseline date of January 2012, and identifies the type (regulated, non-regulated, unknown) and name of the pathway that brought them to Canada, if known.

The percentage of federally regulated foreign IAS not established in Canada reports the number of regulated foreign IAS not established in Canada as a percentage of the total number of regulated foreign IAS from the start of that year. This indicator represents the success of preventing the establishment of foreign regulated IAS in Canada.

The number of intervention or management plans indicator aims to capture specific, confirmed actions or measures to be taken (e.g. regulation, education, control/eradication measures) at the federal, provincial or territorial level. This could include plans developed in partnership with other levels of government or NGOs.

The information relevant for reporting on the first two indicators relies on contributions from existing data collection activities, knowledge and networks. The data is collected from departments/agencies involved with the regulation, identifying or researching IAS. Data for both indicators is included in one database and updated annually by each contributing department.

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Target 12. By 2020, customary use by Aboriginal peoples of biological resources is maintained, compatible with their conservation and sustainable use.

Indicators:

  • Number of households participating in traditional activities
  • Consumption of traditional foods
  • Case studies illustrating customary use of biological resources

Why is this target important for Canada?

For thousands of years, Aboriginal peoples in Canada have depended on the land and water and the resources that healthy ecosystems provide to meet their physical, social, cultural and spiritual needs. Many Aboriginal peoples continue to have an intimate cultural relationship with the landscape and the resources derived from the land and water. The customary use of biological resources, including such activities as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering, is an important element of this relationship. This customary use of biological resources may be exercised by Aboriginal communities under their law making authority on their resources. It may also be exercised by those communities having Aboriginal or Treaty rights to do so. Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized and affirmed by sections 35 of the Constitution of Canada.

Twenty-six modern treaties are in place in Canada which, among other things, address the role of signatories to those treaties respecting land management, wildlife harvesting and management, establishment and management of national parks and conservation areas, and natural resource conservation and development. These modern treaties cover over 50 percent of Canada's landmass.

Agreements between governments and Aboriginal authorities have led to the creation of cooperative management regimes for wildlife. Many Aboriginal communities have certain management authorities relating to the use of settlement and reserve lands and management of the resources on those lands. Through negotiated cooperative agreements, Aboriginal peoples are assuming increased responsibility for the management of biological resources.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 18.

Meeting the target

Customary use of biological resources by Aboriginal peoples is one way in which Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) is promoted and applied. Meeting this target will require the application of traditional knowledge, and community driven process, in order to enable and support, where possible, ongoing customary activities that are compatible with the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources.

The identification of best practices, application of ATK and the development of local guidance by Aboriginal communities for the sustainable use of biodiversity can also be beneficial for biodiversity planning, implementation and management. This can lead to practical capacity building, tools and networks in support of community-led conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at the local level.

How will progress be measured?

Data on the number of Aboriginal households participating in traditional activities, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering of wild plants is available through the Aboriginal Peoples Survey undertaken by Statistics Canada. Data on consumption of traditional foods is available from Regional Health Surveys and other studies undertaken by Aboriginal organizations, as well as from the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study. Case studies illustrating customary use of biological resources by Aboriginal peoples will be gathered in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations.

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Target 13. By 2020, innovative mechanisms for fostering the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied.

Indicator:

  • Case studies which showcase the conservation and/or sustainable use of biodiversity through innovative mechanisms, in sectors and regions across Canada

Why is this target important for Canada?

Biodiversity generates and supports many valuable ecosystem services that provide an enormous range of social and economic benefits to Canadians. Successfully safeguarding biodiversity will mean exploring and applying the fullest possible range of strategies and tools. It will also mean harnessing innovation, expanding existing partnerships and forging new ones. Collaborative approaches to ecosystem and resource management are gaining momentum and have the added benefit of fostering stronger social networks and long-lasting solutions. Globally, efforts are growing to use economic, institutional and legal incentives to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Economic instruments, for example, can encourage environmentally friendly practices, boost green technology and innovation, and discourage resource waste and inefficiency without harming competitiveness and potentially enhancing it. Further, they can be applied in a wide range of ecosystem settings – from private woodlots and ranches, to public forests and downtown neighbourhoods. Much could be achieved by building on past successes, applying existing measures in new ways, and integrating biodiversity considerations into the mainstream of day-to-day decision-making in all sectors.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 3 and 4.

Meeting the target

Canada already has a strong record of innovation and there are many examples of Canadians working together to broaden the conservation “toolbox”. In Canada, measures for the protection of ecologically sensitive lands, beyond simple acquisition are well established. For example, the federal government and some provincial governments offer tax benefits for land donations under initiatives such as the Ecological Gifts Program. In Saskatchewan, Ducks Unlimited has led an innovative “reverse auction” to pay landowners for restoring wetlands in their fields and pastures, as a mechanism to restore 56,000 hectares of wetlands over 20 years. A group of non-governmental organizations and forestry companies worked hand in hand to craft the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Initiatives such as third-party certification programs can help develop markets for biodiversity-friendly products. Companies like Sobeys and Unilever are leading the way for manufacturers and retailers to green their supply chains.

Meeting this target will involve continuing efforts such as those described above, as well as further efforts to eliminate barriers to, and encourage investments in, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Assessing the efficacy of such innovative mechanisms in terms of environmental effects will identify best practices and support achieving the target.

Key concepts

Innovative mechanisms: A novel tool or approach to achieving biodiversity outcomes.  An innovative mechanism may be developed or applied by any sector or level of government. Examples may include, but aren't limited to:

  • New multi-stakeholder or public-private partnerships
  • Economic instruments, such as grants, tax measures, or payments for ecosystem services
  • Market-based incentives, such as certification programs
  • Enhanced legislative or regulatory measures, such as conservation allowances
  • Policies or programs, including corporate policies, designed to deliver new biodiversity benefits

How will progress be measured?

Progress on this target would be measured by documenting Canadian examples of innovative approaches and tools for biodiversity conservation. Case studies would be drawn from a variety of sources as part of the process for developing Canada's National Reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Reporting would highlight a cross-section of novel examples from different sectors and regions of Canada and will recognize and celebrate successes.

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Goal C. By 2020, Canadians have adequate and relevant information about biodiversity and ecosystem services to support conservation planning and decision-making.

Target 14. By 2020, the science base for biodiversity is enhanced and knowledge of biodiversity is better integrated and more accessible.

Indicators:

  • Completion of a national assessment of biodiversity science required to address policy needs
  • The number of peer-reviewed reports written by 2020 which contribute to addressing key biodiversity science needs
  • Number of biodiversity monitoring programs contributing information to a national or provincial web portal
  • Number of taxonomically classified specimens in Canadian collections that are available for scientific use, and the proportion of those specimens with digital records

Why is this target important for Canada?

Information is key when it comes to understanding biodiversity. In order to improve our understanding of the benefits of ecosystem services and the impacts of biodiversity loss on the functioning of ecosystems and on society, information about biodiversity values, ecosystem processes, vulnerabilities, and the status and trends of Canada's ecosystems and species is needed, in a form that is easily accessible to decision-makers.

Our biodiversity and ecosystem services knowledge base is growing, through efforts to incorporate relevant information from multiple perspectives. Improved capacity to measure and monitor biodiversity is an important step towards increasing our comprehension of the effects human activities and management practices have on ecosystems.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 19.

Meeting the target

Ongoing research will be vital to furnishing a deeper understanding of biodiversity. Advances in remote sensing, geographic information systems, bioinformatics and the internet offer unprecedented potential for developing and sharing data, setting the stage for a next wave of knowledge innovation. Improving our biodiversity knowledge base will involve harnessing the advantages of innovation, enabling greater potential for collaboration between governments, citizen-science initiatives, Aboriginal groups, universities and private sector organizations. New technologies are transforming the ways knowledge is created and shared and facilitating policy integration within and across sectors and jurisdictions. These technologies also provide the opportunity to develop a knowledge infrastructure with a shared science base, decision support tools, best practices and innovative governance. Biodiversity-sensitive decision-making from local to national levels will require just such an infrastructure to develop and thrive.

Key concepts

Science base for biodiversity/knowledge of biodiversity: Any information that has been processed to support dialogue on biodiversity and ecosystem services management and better decision making.

How will progress be measured?

The first three indicators proposed for this target rely on the cooperation of all jurisdictions to provide data. For the fourth indicator, data on specimens for species that occur in Canada will be gathered on collections housed at universities, important federal collections, provincial museums and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

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Target 15. By 2020, Aboriginal traditional knowledge is respected, promoted and, where made available by Aboriginal peoples, regularly, meaningfully and effectively informing biodiversity conservation and management decision-making

Indicators:

  • Number of mechanisms in place for Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) to inform decision-making
  • Case studies assessing effectiveness of established mechanisms for ATK to inform decision-making
  • Case studies illustrating best practices in promoting ATK or having it inform decision-making
  • Trends in linguistic diversity and number of speakers of Aboriginal languages

Why is this target important for Canada?

Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) can make important contributions to conservation planning and decision making. ATK and western science are complementary in the way they benefit biodiversity conservation and management in Canada.

As the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (CBS) highlights: Many communities, families and individuals have accumulated traditional knowledge that is relevant to the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources. This knowledge may relate to harvesting resources, planting crops, using natural herbs and other material for medicinal purposes, and understanding changes that have occurred to local biological features and landscapes. Traditional knowledge can provide an excellent basis for developing conservation and sustainable use policies and programs.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 18.

Meeting the target

Meeting this target will require continued efforts to raise awareness and understanding of the value of ATK, the promotion of ATK by Aboriginal peoples within their communities, as well as facilitating consideration of ATK in conservation management and decision-making while supporting the customary use of biological resources. Moreover, maintaining effective relationships between Aboriginal peoples and other parties involved in conservation management decisions is required in order to facilitate a meaningful exchange of knowledge. Pertinent protocols for accessing ATK need to be respected.

A number of mechanisms already exist to promote and consider ATK in biodiversity related work, such as species assessment and recovery (e.g. COSEWIC ATK Subcommittee, NACOSAR), park planning and management, research and capacity-building, and impact assessment. Individual initiatives, such as the Boreal Caribou Recovery Strategy, provide examples in which ATK has informed decision-making. Protected areas agencies such as Parks Canada are bringing ATK into management and decision-making through, for example, the New Brunswick First Nations Advisory Committee, which ensures the interests of local Aboriginal communities are considered in the management of national parks and national historic sites, and through interpretation such as The Medicinal Plants Trail project, a collaboration between Fort Folly First Nation and Fundy National Park. Building on these successes, appropriate mechanisms have to be maintained and, where necessary, enhanced, and additional mechanisms will need to be established.

How will progress be measured?

The first indicator proposed for this target would require federal, provincial and territorial governments to identify current mechanisms, in cooperation with Aboriginal organizations. All jurisdictions would need to report on existing governance structures that help ATK inform their biodiversity decision making framework. Case studies assessing effectiveness of established mechanisms would provide a qualitative complement to the first indicator. Case studies illustrating best practices in promoting ATK or having it inform decision-making will demonstrate successes and could serve as examples to others. Linguistic diversity and Aboriginal languages use are essential for the retention and use of ATK. Data on Aboriginal linguistic diversity and number of speakers is available through the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (Statistics Canada) and the Regional Health Surveys undertaken by Aboriginal organizations.

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Target 16. By 2020, Canada has a comprehensive inventory of protected spaces that includes private conservation areas.

Indicators:

  • The establishment of a centralized comprehensive inventory
  • The number and/or nature of new elements and/or methods that are incorporated into Canada's protected spaces tracking and reporting system

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada is a leader in protecting and conserving natural spaces. Across Canada there are thousands of protected areas managed by government agencies at various levels, co-managed protected areas, private protected areas, protected areas managed by non-governmental conservation organizations, and Aboriginal and local community conserved areas. The Canadian Council on Ecological Areas currently tracks and reports on the number and total area of federal, provincial and territorial protected areas, and on the number and extent of some co-managed and private conservation areas through the Conservation Areas Reporting and Tracking System (CARTS). Areas reported in CARTS meet the international criteria for protected areas, however, this does not completely reflect the broader diversity of conservation areas that exist across the country and that complement the role of protected areas in conserving nature. Integrating data on all of Canada's protected spaces, including publicly and privately owned protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures on land and at sea is a key to understanding and sharing information on Canada's progress.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 11 and 19.

Meeting the target

A number of systems exist for tracking different conservation initiatives, and developing a comprehensive inventory will involve collaboration by all partners. Some provinces, territories, regional associations and communities have their own databases of parks, protected areas and other conservation lands, non-governmental conservation organizations maintain information on the extent of privately protected areas, and information on marine conservation efforts is maintained in still other databases. Working together, these organizations will enhance Canada's ability to report on our collective conservation efforts by contributing to a comprehensive inventory of protected spaces.

Key concepts

Private conservation areas: Privately owned areas that are legally protected in perpetuity for the purposes of conservation (e.g. conservation easements). These sites may or may not meet the IUCN criteria for protected areas.

Protected area: A clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values. (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Protected spaces: Areas set aside for the purposes of biodiversity conversations, either through government, private or co-managed efforts (see also Protected area, and, Other effective area-based conservation measures).

Other effective area-based conservation measures (OCM): Spatially explicit measures that are focused on long-term conservation, address threats to biodiversity, and provide a net conservation benefit, but are not formally designated protected areas. Canada is engaging in domestic and international conversations about how OCM will be tracked and reported.

How will progress be measured?

While data on the majority of Canada's protected spaces is currently available through the Conservation Areas Tracking and Reporting System (CARTS), being able to tell the whole story will require the integration of additional data on conservation areas that is not currently reported, either into a single database or into separate but related databases. Efforts to establish a mechanism to report on Canada's protected spaces comprehensively will be ongoing toward the target date. The first indicator for this target will reflect the achievement of this objective. As Canada's ability to measure and report on conservation areas is improved and expanded, the second indicator would be used to track and report on advances, which could include, for example, improved guidelines for applying IUCN protected areas categories, enhanced quality of maps of conservation areas, and increased specificity in the types of conservation areas tracked and reported.

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Target 17. By 2020, measures of natural capital related to biodiversity and ecosystem services are developed on a national scale, and progress is made in integrating them into Canada's national statistical system.

Indicators:

  • The number of individual elements of natural capital for which Statistics Canada has published national-scale data tables
  • The number and extent of individual elements of natural capital for which Statistics Canada has published national-scale map layers
  • The number of ecosystem services for which there is national-scale data

Why is this target important for Canada?

Canada's natural resources play a significant role in generating income, exports, and employment. Natural capital – the physical land and ecosystems – is the context within which ecosystem processes and functions occur. Among the outcomes of these processes and functions are ecosystem services that provide essential benefits to humans. These services can be understood as a valuable result of Canada's natural wealth but most of them are rarely accounted for in resource management, which has resulted in significant, measured degradation and loss.Footnote2

Canada currently has no formally established system for measuring aspects of natural capital that extend beyond harvestable or extractable natural resources and some forms of land (which is bought and sold). Canada also does not currently have a system for measuring most ecosystem services. Internationally, this issue is being addressed in the System of Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) Experimental Ecosystem Accounts, a project of the United Nations Statistics Division, as well as through the work of other organizations and research teams. The UN SEEA project attempts to define how countries could measure natural capital and ecosystem services using a range of measures that can be monetary, physical, and condition-based. The motivation for developing ecosystem accounts comes from a wide range of emerging demands for integrating information on the environmental aspects of sustainability and for information on the links between ecosystem functions and human well-being.

Recently, Statistics Canada has been working with partner departments to implement its new Framework for Environmental Statistics. This includes working towards implementing the United Nations recommendations on Environmental and Economic Accounting (UN SEEA Central Framework), and working with the federal policy departments and the international community to develop guidelines and data for ecosystem accounts (UN SEEA EEA). As a result, new data series have been made available recently such as data on land cover, biomass, wetland extent, natural land parcel size, and ecosystem goods and services valuation.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 1.

Meeting the target

The objective of this target is to ensure the opportunity for the diverse values of biodiversity, its contributions to maintaining ecosystem services, and opportunities derived from its conservation and sustainable use, to be fully reflected in all relevant public and private decision-making frameworks. In a Canadian context, this could include any or all of: environmental statistics and national wealth accounts; indices of well-being; land use and resource management plans and development plans; environmental impact assessments and other similar assessments; and incorporation of biodiversity concepts and tenets in planning and monitoring regimes.

In 2013 Statistics Canada adopted a natural capital framework for collecting environmental statistics which will support this target. Statistics Canada currently measures selected stocks and flows related to natural capital in physical terms and, where feasible and appropriate, in monetary terms. They maintain a set of extensive, geo-referenced, national-scale databases on land cover and landuse, fresh water resources, marine resources, timber, and agriculture with which it is possible to measure and produce map layers of individual elements of Canada's natural capital. This work is ongoing and is already being published in sources such as their Human Activity and the Environment and Envirostats reports. As a result, Canada has already made progress on this target for all three indicators. Additional early progress on ecosystem services data will focus on fresh water, building on existing national data on the renewal of fresh water.

Key concepts

Natural Capital: Natural Capital is a term that was developed to help illustrate how the physical natural environment, including ecosystem functions and processes, is a valuable asset to human society and should be reflected in decision processes along with other assets. Natural capital produces what are referred to as “ecosystem services” which have benefits for humans. These benefits include essential life support and significant quality-of-life services.

Ecosystem Services: The natural processes of healthy functioning ecosystems (see Natural Capital) result in the provision of many essential benefits that humans depend upon, including basic life support and quality-of-life. These functions are said to “provide services” to humans because of the benefits that humans derive from them. Ecosystem services include the materials that ecosystems provide (“provisioning services” e.g. food, fuel, fibre, medicine); the ways that ecosystems regulate environmental conditions (“regulating services” e.g. clean the air and water, prevent soil erosion, reduce the spread of disease, mitigate impacts of climate); and their contributions to cultural life (“cultural services” e.g. education, recreation, inspiration, physical and mental health including cognitive development). The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment further defines “supporting services” as resulting from ecosystem processes and functions that underpin the other three categories. Supporting services include nutrient cycling, soil formation, and primary production.

How will progress be measured?

Information related to these indicators is primarily reported through Statistics Canada’s Human Activity and the Environment and Envirostats reports. Three initial indicators of progress towards achieving this target would be:

  1. The number of individual elements of natural capital for which Statistics Canada has published national-scale data tables.
  2. The extent/number of individual elements of natural capital for which Statistics Canada has published national-scale map layers.
  3. The number of ecosystem services for which there is national-scale data.

As work develops, Statistics Canada would, in collaboration with other federal, provincial and territorial government departments, assess the need for adapting these indicators to the improving state of knowledge and information being collected to support them.  Departments will begin by establishing a checklist of possible elements of natural capital to be included in the data tables and map layers in Indicators 1 and 2.

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Goal D. By 2020, Canadians are informed about the value of nature and more actively engaged in its stewardship.

Target 18. By 2020, biodiversity is integrated into the elementary and secondary school curricula.

Indicator:

  • The number of jurisdictions that have integrated biodiversity into elementary and secondary curricula

Why is this target important for Canada?

Youth education and awareness of biodiversity is essential if Canada is to grow its next generation of conservation and sustainable development leaders, mainstream biodiversity and meet its biodiversity conservation goals. Mainstreaming the understanding and importance of biodiversity will create a culture of appreciation, conservation, and action. This target emphasizes a key avenue for teaching Canada's youth about biodiversity, by integrating biodiversity into formal education.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Target 1.

Meeting the target

Provincial and Territorial educational systems are the key vehicle for integrating biodiversity issues into the formal curriculum documents. Efforts are already underway in various institutions across the country. In Ontario, for example, integrating biodiversity into curricula for Kindergarten to Grade 12 is included as a target in the provincial Biodiversity Strategy.

In a 2014 scan of provincial and territorial governments, of the five provinces and territories reporting, all indicate that biodiversity has been integrated in the elementary and secondary school curricula and all indicate that biodiversity is a specific unit or theme within the curriculum. Biodiversity is taught primarily in the Science or the Science and Technology subject areas across all grade levels. Additionally, in several provinces, key biodiversity concepts weave through different grades in other subject areas including Art, Career and Technology Studies, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education and Music.

The Council of Ministers of Education offers another vehicle for encouraging the integration of biodiversity into elementary and secondary school curricula through, for example, their Pan-Canadian Education for Sustainable Development Framework for Collaboration and Action.  

Integration into formal curricula is often supported by informal education at Canadian zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, National and Provincial parks, museums, outdoor education and environmental education centres and by organizations or programs focused on youth biodiversity education and awareness, such as Envirothon.

Key concepts

Curriculum documents: Define what students are taught in publicly funded schools. They detail the knowledge and skills that students are expected to develop in each subject at each grade level, and sets standards for the provinces and territories.

Mainstreaming: Integrating biodiversity considerations, specifically the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, into everyday decisions across all sectors of society, from the choices of individuals, to operational and investment decisions by private business, to public policy decisions.

How will progress be measured?

The indicator proposed for this target relies on data from provinces and territories. Data on the integration of biodiversity into elementary and secondary curricula would be gathered from provincial and territorial Ministries of Education. Case studies showcasing informal education activities related to biodiversity could also be gathered by Environment Canada, provinces and territories.

 

Target 19. By 2020, more Canadians get out into nature and participate in biodiversity conservation activities.

Indicators:

  • Percentage of Canadians who report that they take definite action to protect the environment
  • Participation in volunteer-based citizen-science monitoring programs
  • Trends in park or conservation area visitation
  • Trends in the percentage of Canadians who report that they visited parks or public greenspaces

Why is this target important for Canada?

Spending time in nature is a favourite pastime for many Canadians. In addition to being beneficial for our health, outdoor activities increase our connection with the natural world around us and encourage an understanding of the importance and beauty of nature. For many this helps foster recognition of the value of the natural world in maintaining our lives and encourages them to take part in efforts to conserve biodiversity. Many Canadians are becoming more active in biodiversity conservation efforts. Everyone has a part to play and an opportunity to lead by example. The benefits of biodiversity are also extending beyond the individual and are being considered within business plans, in green schools, on stages, in art galleries and in urban management plans. Moreover, achieving our biodiversity goals requires extensive collaboration and cooperation by all parts of society. This includes all levels of government, Aboriginal peoples, educational and scientific institutions, environmental non-government organizations, business, individual citizens and youth.

Time spent in nature and participation in biodiversity conservation activities could be good indicators of how Canadians understand and value biodiversity. The reported number of Canadians who willingly participate in, and seek out, sustainable nature-based activities or biodiversity conservation activities can be indicative of their interest in biodiversity in their home, backyard and communities. These activities can take many forms, including visits to parks and wilderness areas, stewardship, volunteering time with conservation organizations, citizen-science activities including monitoring programs, contributing financially and in-kind to conservation projects and causes or taking part in activities to discover and learn more about Canada's biodiversity.

Links to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020.
This target for Canada is linked with the global Aichi Targets 1 and 4.

Meeting the target

Canadians spend a good deal of time in nature, visiting national and provincial parks and enjoying natural areas in their communities. The renaturalisation of urban spaces and the establishment of conservation areas nearer to large population centres, such as Rouge National Urban Park in the Greater Toronto Area, provide increasingly large numbers of Canadians with access to nature.

Canada has gained an international reputation for its strong stewardship and volunteer programs. There are millions of active environmental stewards in Canada, along with several thousand organizations dedicated to preserving biodiversity through a broad range of activities. The contribution these individuals and groups make to biodiversity is invaluable. Countless efforts to engage Canadians in biodiversity conservation are underway across the country, particularly at the local and regional level, through local environmental organizations and volunteer programs, and through government-run conservation programs such as EcoAction and the Habitat Stewardship Program.

Canadians are also contributing to our understanding of species through a variety of citizen-science programs. These include bird-monitoring programs such as the Breeding Bird Survey, which began in 1966 and is one of the oldest surveys of its kind in North America. Other citizen-science programs include Frogwatch, which uses frogs and toads as indicator species for monitoring the health of wetlands, and Plantwatch, which records flowering times as an important indicator of a changing climate.

Private, public and non-governmental organizations are all key players in getting Canadians into nature and involved in conservation activities. Participation can be tracked by examining trends in behaviour, such as park visitation and participation in relevant biodiversity related activities and programs.

Key concepts

Biodiversity conservation activities: The actions of communities, groups or individuals which contribute to or facilitate the conservation of nature including, for example, stewardship of natural areas, restoring habitat, reducing direct pressures on biodiversity, enhancing knowledge or understanding of the natural world and what can be done to conserve it, or increasing awareness of biodiversity values.

How will progress be measured?

The indicators proposed for this target rely on data from Statistics Canada, Environment Canada, federal and provincial Parks agencies and possibly others. Statistics Canada's Households and the Environment Survey provides data on the percentage of Canadians who report that they take definite action to protect the environment. Environment Canada and partners would provide data on volunteer-based activities such as the Breeding Bird Survey, Frogwatch, Plantwatch, and possibly many others. Case studies showcasing Canadians’ participation in biodiversity conservation activities could also be gathered by Environment Canada, provinces and territories.

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