Nature is all around us. It’s the air we breathe; the food we eat; and the water we drink. It’s our backyard, our workplace, and our home. In Canada, we have a quarter of the earth’s wetlands and boreal forests, one fifth of its freshwater resources, and the longest coastline in the world. Protecting nature helps Canada and the entire world mitigate the impacts of climate change. That’s why our government is doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada’s lands and oceans.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Nunavut’s Premier and Minister of Environment, Joe Savikataaq, highlighted how Canada and the Government of Nunavut are supporting the establishment of the Agguttinni Territorial Park, located north of Clyde River, Nunavut. This joint Government of Nunavut-Inuit initiative will create a park that includes a quarter of the Barnes Ice Cap, a significant source of fresh water for Baffin Island, numerous cultural sites of importance for Inuit, important bird areas, and key habitat for polar bears and caribou.
The creation of the Agguttinni Territorial Park is the result of a strong collaborative partnership between the people of Clyde River and the Government of Nunavut. For many years, Clyde River and the Government of Nunavut have invested time and resources in protecting this special area. The funding provided through the Canada Nature Fund’s Target 1 Challenge is the catalyst to finalize and create the territorial park.
The Government of Canada is providing $4.7 million to support the Government of Nunavut toward the establishment of this incredible project. The federal funding comes from the Canada Nature Fund, which is part of the single-largest investment in nature in Canadian history. The funding enables Canadians from across the country to protect our nature and the wildlife that depends on it. As Canadians, we have an important role to play in nature conservation.
“Nature is one of Canada’s most precious resources. The conservation projects in Nunavut are significant steps toward doubling the amount of nature we are protecting in Canada’s lands and oceans. By working with Indigenous Peoples, provinces and territories, and other partners across the country to protect nature, we can support vibrant communities and address the impacts of climate change-ensuring our kids and grandkids can also experience the incredible natural landscapes and wilderness we cherish today.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The Agguttinni project, north of Clyde River, will be the largest park under the jurisdiction of the Government of Nunavut and a positive future development for our people, our communities, and our land. In collaboration with our parks’ joint-planning-and-management partners, the establishment of Agguttinni Territorial Park will support the protection and celebration of Nunavut’s rich natural beauty as well as the development of tourism infrastructure. The Government of Nunavut is pleased to have the support of the Canada Nature Fund for this important initiative.”
– Joe Savikataaq, Premier and Minister of Environment, Government of Nunavut
Through Budget 2018, the Government announced $1.35 billion for the Nature Legacy initiative-the single-largest investment in nature conservation in Canadian history.
The $175 million Canada Nature Fund Target 1 Challenge will support ongoing progress toward achieving Canada’s Target 1 goal of conserving 17 percent of our land and fresh water by the end of 2020.
The Government of Nunavut and Inuit organizations will receive over $12 million in Target 1 Challenge funding, which will be used to protect over 2.6 million hectares of land in Nunavut, an area about half the size of the province of Nova Scotia.
The Agguttinni Territorial Park project is one of five Nunavut projects.
Canada’s network of protected and conserved areas is important to mitigate the impacts of climate change by protecting and restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems and contributing to the recovery of species at risk. Intact forests and wetlands also capture and store carbon dioxide and can help protect communities from the impacts of climate change.