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Canada's dedication to our natural heritage to be celebrated

Y2Y applauds today’s Target 1 report release and says this signals a significant advancement in addressing the loss of Canada’s wildlife heritage and wildlands. 

MEDIA RELEASE | June 15, 2018 

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) applauds today’s Target 1 report release and says this signals a significant advancement in addressing the loss of Canada’s wildlife heritage and wildlands.   

“This exemplifies Canadian leadership globally on the conservation of nature. Functioning wild places provide clean water, store carbon, filter our air and much more,” says Dr. Jodi Hilty, president and chief scientist of Y2Y. “Canada’s dedication to achieve Target 1 coupled with February’s announcement of $1.3 billion for conservation shows responsibility in advancing the well-being of our planet.”  

Under Pathway to Canada Target 1, the country has committed to an international goal of conserving at least 17 per cent of terrestrial areas and inland water through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020. Currently Canada protects 10.6 per cent of land and inland waters. Y2Y looks forward to working with federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments to meet — and exceed — this goal.  

Canada Target 1 is an important step forward to conserving our natural heritage including within the Yellowstone to Yukon region. Opportunities are ripe with many communities wanting to see a commitment to conservation, including protection of large core areas for mountain caribou — a species found nowhere else on Earth.  

Some key areas in this region that merit conserving for future generations include wildland provincial park protection for Alberta’s Bighorn backcountry; enduring conservation in northern B.C.’s Hart mountain ranges including Klinse-Za; Yukon's Peel watershed; and the Mackenzie mountains in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.    

Across the Rocky MountainsCanada has made the commitment and has an opportunity to work with Indigenous people who want to protect key parts of their traditional territories from industrial development. This is the kind of government commitment and support that will advance enduring conservation,” says Hilty. “This country has everything it needs now to move ahead on conservation that also supports reconciliation. 

“Opportunities for conservation in B.C. include the Hart Ranges in the South Peace, the headwaters of the Columbia River, and habitat for species such as mountain caribou and grizzly bear. We hope to see solutions developed for these areas, and implemented with federal support,” says Candace Batycki, Y2Y program director.  

“The National Advisory Panel's report provides a key framework to improve decision-making on where Canada’s protected areas should be and to what extent protection should be at,” says Dr. Aerin Jacob, Y2Y's conservation scientist and member of the Pathway's Expert Task Team on Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecosystem Services“Protecting the nation’s wildlife, resources and wild areas is important.”   

For further comment please contact:  

Kelly Zenkewich, communications and digital engagement manager, , 403-609-2666 ext. 126