CPAWS-BC Welcomes Largest Investment To Date For Land and Ocean Conservation

For interviews, please contact:
Rippon Madtha, Communications Manager
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter
(604) 685-7445 x23


April 19, 2021

CPAWS-BC Welcomes Largest Investment To Date For Land and Ocean Conservation 

 Federal budget investments demonstrate a solid commitment to nature protection

Unceded Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver, BCThe Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) highly commends the federal government’s decision to invest $3+ billion over five years to protect Canada’s lands and ocean.

Today’s historic announcement bolsters collective action towards protecting 25 percent of Canada’s lands and ocean by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 while enabling and supporting Indigenous-led conservation in British Columbia and across Canada

“This announcement brings immense hope to British Columbians and Canadians for a resilient future brimming with healthy landscapes, waters, and biodiversity,” says Annita Mcphee, Executive Director of CPAWS-BC. “With this significant investment important conservation projects will be enabled to move forward on the ground and in the ocean”. 

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has been drumming up Ottawa’s support alongside leading conservation groups as part of the Green Budget Coalition. The coalition has proposed investments of $4.8 billion over five years, followed by $745 million per year to manage federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous protected areas. 

Ross Jameson, Oceans Conservation Manager for CPAWS-BC comments, “This will add sorely needed investment into the health and well-being of coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them. Investment in ocean protection will support a web of marine life, increase recreation, tourism, and other conservation economy opportunities, and rebuild fisheries”.

Budget 2021 nature investment highlights: 

  • $2.3 billion over five years to protect one million square kilometers of land and freshwater – which is equivalent to an additional 10% of Canada – including supporting Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, Indigenous Guardians programs, provincial and territorial protected areas, and to protecting species at risk.
  • $976.8 million over five years to protect the health of our oceans, commercial fishing stocks, and quality of life in coastal communities.
  • $200 million over three years supporting municipalities with natural infrastructure projects including establishing urban parks, green spaces, waterfronts, marshes, etc.
  • $1.4 billion over 12 years to replenish the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, including $670 million dedicated to small-scale climate adaptation and mitigation projects, including natural infrastructure projects such as wetland restoration, etc.

“This incredible investment shows great wisdom and fortitude in putting the future of our communities first by furthering important international nature commitments. We look forward to working towards a resilient future with Indigenous, provincial, and federal governments by furthering conservation here in BC,” adds Mcphee. 


For interviews, please contact:
Rippon Madtha, Communications Manager
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter
(604) 685-7445 x23


About CPAWS-BC: 

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – British Columbia (CPAWS-BC) is part of one of Canada’s oldest non-profit conservation groups. We protect wilderness in every corner of BC and deep into the ocean. We have been defending BC since 1978 and are dedicated to keeping BC’s natural environment thriving forever. Nature is BC’s best hope.



  • According to the World Economic Forum, half of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is moderately or highly dependent on nature and the services it provides, and the global food-, land-, and ocean-use system provides up to 40% of the world’s jobs. As a nation that relies on its rich natural resources, protecting nature and the multitude of services it provides is critical to Canada’s economic recovery. 
  • Many studies done across Canada have found that natural assets, if maintained, already have tremendous value, which will increase as the climate changes. As an example, urban forests in Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax are valued at billions of dollars for ecosystem services such as control of stormwater runoff, air quality regulation, and carbon sequestration. 
  • Protecting and restoring forest, grassland, and wetland (including eelgrass, saltmarsh, and riparian areas) to store and reduce greenhouse gas emissions would help to address the climate and biodiversity crises, create jobs, and expand a green economy in Canada. The same is true for using natural infrastructure solutions to increase our resilience to climate change.
  • The World Economic Forum estimates that transitioning industry to a more nature-positive model could result in up to $10 trillion USD in annual business value and could create 395 million jobs by 2030. 
  • Terrestrial parks and associated visitor spending support 64,000 jobs, generate a return of 6:1 in GDP, and return 44% of government investment back in taxes. Canada’s parks and protected areas have become increasingly important for domestic tourism as COVID-19 restricts international travel.
  • Effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a key component of a strong Blue Economy. Recent studies show that protecting 30% of our ocean in effective and well-managed MPAs can restore ocean health and produce an economic return on investments of ten to one.  
  • Read our backgrounder on the Economic Benefits of Protecting Nature in Canada.
  • The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) includes 25 leading environmental organizations in Canada that analyze environmental sustainability issues and provide fiscal and budgetary recommendations to the federal government. Feature recommendations for nature and biodiversity conservation include: Nature-Based Climate Solutions and Creating and Managing Protected Areas, including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas and Guardians programs, among other complementary nature conservation recommendations. 
  • February 2021, Hill Times Op-ed: CPAWS National Executive Director Sandra Schwartz highlights Canada’s conservation opportunity provided by U.S. President Biden’s protected areas push.
  • November 2020, Hill Times Op-Ed: CPAWS’s Sandra Schwartz calls for the federal government to follow through on conservation commitments in a COVID-busting fiscal plan
  • Fall 2020: The federal government prioritized nature, as detailed in last fall’s Speech from the Throne and repeated by the Prime Minister at the United Nations’ first-ever Summit on Biodiversity. Canada also signed the Leader’s Pledge for Nature to put nature and climate at the heart of COVID-19 recovery and joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, a group of over 50 countries championing an ambitious nature conservation agenda.
  • Summer 2020: CPAWS released a report detailing the relationship between the pandemic and terrestrial conservation and the role for nature conservation in Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.