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The Pathway

Pathway to Canada Target 1, biodiversity, conservation, 2020, Canadian

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me
— Chief Dan George

Goal  |  Background  |  Topics  |  Scope  |  Objectives  |


Project goal

In partnership with all Canadians, and in particular Indigenous peoples, develop a pathway, grounded in science and traditional knowledge, to achieve Canada Target 1 and establish a coordinated network of parks and conservation areas throughout Canada that will serve as the cornerstone for biodiversity conservation for generations to come.


Background

In 2010, a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was adopted at the Conference of the Parties for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This plan includes 20 global biodiversity targets, known as the Aichi Targets, which each party to the convention has agreed to contribute to achieving by the year 2020. Canada, the European Community and the other 195 parties in this global plan were encouraged to develop their own national targets using the Aichi Targets as a guide.

In response, in 2015, Canada adopted a suite of national targets known as the “2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada”. These four goals and 19 targets cover issues ranging from species at risk to sustainable forestry to connecting Canadians to nature. Canada Target 1 states:

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

The Pathway project focuses on the terrestrial and inland waters aspects of Canada Target 1, based on Aichi Target 11.

Kananaskis Country © Alberta Parks

Kananaskis Country © Alberta Parks

On April 11, 2016, federal, provincial, and territorial deputy ministers for parks agreed to establish a working group to develop a plan that will outline how jurisdictions could contribute to achieving Canada Target 1. Guidance will also be created for recommending best practices and indicators for measuring progress towards protecting Canada's biodiversity.

The solutions associated with achieving Canada Target 1 will only be found through collaboration and collective action. In addition, many governmental departments, Indigenous peoples, communities, municipalities, private and non-profit sectors across Canada will have a significant interest and stake in the outputs from this process. During this process of developing a plan and recommended implementation guidance, an Indigenous Circle of Experts and a National Advisory Panel have been formed and approval from all relevant government departments will be sought.


Topics explored

Jasper national park, photo: Layla Neufield © Parks Canada Agency

Jasper national park, photo: Layla Neufield © Parks Canada Agency

Seven expert task teams are each gathering information on one or more of the qualitative elements associated with Canada Target 1 and will prepare a summary report with options. These reports will help inform the advice that will be provided by the National Advisory Panel to ministers to create the final Pathway to Canada Target 1. The topics being explored are:

  • Defining protected areas and other effective conservation measures

  • Equitable management from a non-Indigenous perspective

  • Guidance on assessing ecological representation

  • Guidance for connected and integrated parks and conservation areas

  • Guidance on measuring effective management

  • Identifying areas important for biodiversity and ecosystem services

The Indigenous Circle of ‎Experts will inform the work of the National Advisory Panel and Expert Task Teams, and lead efforts to provide recommendations and guidance on Indigenous protected and conserved areas.


Scope of the project

Pathway to Canada Target 1 scope of work:

  • The production of recommended implementation guidance, with options, that consolidates existing material and reflects advice from experts relating to the qualitative elements associated with Canada Target 1, including other effective area-based conservation measures;

  • A multi-jurisdictional and multi-stakeholder collaborative approach that seeks consensus, where possible, with a broad range of Canadians.


Project objectives

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Pathway to Canada Target 1 objectives

  • To encourage efforts among governments and land management partners to contribute to achieving Canada Target 1, including conserving at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland waters of Canada by 2020 through protected areas, Indigenous protected and conserved areas, and other effective area-based conservation measures;

  • To develop implementation guidance for establishing and coordinating a network of terrestrial protected areas, Indigenous protected and conserved areas, and other effective conservation measures across Canada that are effectively and equitably managed, well-connected and integrated into the wider landscape, including areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services and that together achieve ecological representation; and

  • To co-ordinate annual updates on progress towards achieving Canada Target 1, including the national target of at least 17% and implementation of the guidance.