Developing a Comprehensive Ten-Year Biodiversity Strategy for Canada 2020-2030

In 2021 Canada and the world are set to adopt ambitious new ten-year commitments under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, building towards a global goal of the full recovery of nature by 2050. Canada is a global nature leader, serving as Co-Chair of the Working Group for the Post-2020 CBD framework. Key to Canada’s continuing leadership will be the development of a comprehensive new ten-year biodiversity strategy with goals, measurable targets, and resources to deliver on both our international commitments and ambitious domestic goals regarding conservation, species recovery, and support for Indigenous knowledge. The EU has already set out a bold and comprehensive new biodiversity strategy driven by a vision that sees the world’s ecosystems restored, resilient and adequately protected
by 2050. Canada’s current strategy dates from 1995, and is not only outdated but largely unimplemented outside of protected area targets. We need to learn from the successes and failures of this experience.

To be effective, Canada’s new biodiversity strategy must be scientifically sound and address the core issues driving habitat loss and species decline. It must mobilize and engage decision makers at the provincial, territorial, and Indigenous government level, and engage support from private industry, academia, as well as conservation partners across civil society. And it must drive action by individual citizens. Building on the success from Target 1, the strategy should be informed by independent expert advisory panel(s) including Indigenous knowledge holders. The process of developing the strategy should serve to identify new regulatory, legislative, monitoring, and accountability measures needed to implement the strategy effectively, including the means to build missing or deficient datasets, develop data management systems and to conduct new science.94 Better data systems will be crucial for monitoring and reporting on the

impact of the significant nature investments made in Budget 2021 and whether they are contributing to the ambitious goals ahead. Such a strategy would be strengthened by the implementation of a biodiversity lens to ensure nature is considered in investments and decisions across government. Adequate resourcing of the consultation and development process is imperative to build a comprehensive new strategy that can guide and support conservation and biodiversity leadership in Canada over the next decade.

Recommended Investment:

$20 million over three years for the consultation and development of a new comprehensive ten-year biodiversity strategy for Canada, with goals, measurable targets, action plans and resources, including the establishment and operation of independent expert advisory panel(s), and subsequent consultations with government partners and diverse stakeholders on a draft strategy. [ECCC]

Contacts

Gauri Sreenivasan – gsreenivasan@naturecanada.ca
Lara Ellis – lellis@alus.ca
James Brennan – j_brennan@ducks.ca

See recommendation on Improving Environmental Data and Science, next in this document. See recommendation for a Biodiversity Lens, earlier in this document.