Connectivity in Land and Ocean Protected Area Networks

Ecological connectivity is critical to mitigating two of the top threats to biodiversity: habitat loss and fragmentation. Connectivity is an essential feature of effective protected area networks and increasingly important in helping species adapt to the climate crisis. Connectivity is a key element of Aichi Target 11/Canada Target 1 and is expected to be included in the Post-2020 framework.

To help design and implement a connected network of protected areas across Canada, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that the federal government:

  1. Invest $500 million over three years for a Connectivity Fund to establish or update financial programs for public lands, financial incentives for private lands to conserve areas important for ecological connectivity, and to advance connectivity conservation [ECCC];
  2. Ensure that all federal infrastructure programs require that negative impacts to ecological connectivity be prevented and mitigated. Prevention and mitigation costs should be built into project proposals as a mandatory condition of eligibility; and
  3. Include mitigation of impacts to ecological connectivity as a requirement in all projects that trigger Environmental Assessments (EAs), and strengthen the EA process through updates to FPT legislation and policy to include activities that affect ecological connectivity.

Canada has undertaken efforts in four marine bioregions to establish marine protected areas (MPA) networks that address connectivity, representativity, size and spacing considerations to maximize conservation benefits. As yet, no MPA network has been successfully completed, and MPA planning and establishment has been site-by-site and opportunistic. We recommend the following funding for DFO:

  • $80 million over three years to complete network planning in the four priority bioregions; and
  • $80 million over three years to start MPA network planning in four additional bioregions by 2025.

Total Recommended Investment:

$660 million over three years [$500 million to ECCC, $160 million to DFO]

See also National Wildlife Collision Reporting & Mitigation Infrastructure, later in this document.

Contact

Anna Pidgorna – apidgorna@cpaws.org