Habitat degradation and loss are the main drivers of species decline and cause the loss of critical climate resilience services, while increasing GHG emissions through the release of ecosystem emissions and reductions in landscape carbon storage capacity. These impacts are fundamentally undermining Canada’s response to the biodiversity crisis and are limiting our ability to leverage nature-based solutions to help meet our conservation and climate commitments.
The United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 is calling for the protection and revival of ecosystems globally for the benefit of people and nature. Given Canada’s strong background in restoration, and significant international contributions to knowledge, practice, and policy, there is potential to show global leadership in restoration while simultaneously bolstering our economy and meeting our biodiversity and climate commitments. With only seven years remaining, significant efforts are required to build a global restoration movement and coordinated approach to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
Establishing a UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Office
To respond to these challenges, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that the federal government establish a UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Office to implement ecosystem restoration projects in Canada by mobilizing science, policy, and good practice in support of key 2030 and 2050 biodiversity and climate goals. There are significant opportunities for partnerships with universities, government departments, environmental NGOs, and industries to develop a national approach to restoration and coordinated policy development. The key will be to invest in restoration initiatives that maximize both socio-economic and ecological returns, advancing the government’s vision for a transformative change toward a healthy, nature-centred, and low-carbon economy. Commitment to the integration of restoration and science will enable Canada to more clearly demonstrate the impacts of investments to achieve 2030 and 2050 biodiversity and climate goals.
$1 million per year for five years [ECCC]