Ottawa, Ontario – Canada is an ocean nation with the longest coastline in the world. Canadians rely on healthy marine ecosystems to sustain our economy, our food supply, and our coastal communities. But the ocean is a shared resource that requires a global effort to ensure marine conservation. That is why the Government of Canada is joining other countries to advocate for international action to increase conservation and protection of our oceans by 2030.
Today, during the Protecting the Oceans Most Important Places webinar, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced Canada has joined the United Kingdom and other countries in the Global Ocean Alliance. The Alliance’s goal is to advocate with international partners for ambitious ocean action to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans through the establishment of marine protected areas and other effective area-based marine conservation measures by 2030.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has worked in partnership with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, and environmental and industry organizations to increase the protection of our oceans. Canada aimed to conserve 10 per cent of the country’s marine and coastal areas by 2020 and has already surpassed this goal, reaching nearly 14 per cent by August 2019. Canada’s efforts, including the establishment of new marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, have also contributed to the international 10 per cent marine conservation target ahead of the 2020 timeline.
The Government of Canada continues to work toward its ambitious target of protecting 25 per cent of marine and coastal areas by 2025, working toward 30 per cent by 2030. Through the Global Ocean Alliance, we join a growing number of like-minded countries that will advocate internationally for 30 per cent conservation by 2030 around the world. We will work with other countries toward the adoption of new ambitious global biodiversity targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity at the 15th Conference of Parties in Kunming, China in 2021.
Canada is joining the Global Ocean Alliance to help galvanize international efforts towards a 30 per cent conservation goal that allows the marine environment and sustainable marine economies to thrive.
“Our oceans provide a wealth of opportunity when approached from the position of sustainability and environmental stewardship. Canada is proud to join the Global Ocean Alliance, working alongside like-minded countries to advocate for our shared vision of sustainable, healthy oceans around the world. We have made exceptional progress on protecting our own waters, and it is time to move the goal post ahead and reach even farther. Canadians expect our government to be a global leader in environmental protection, and this partnership is another way we will use our voice, leadership, and resources to protect our oceans and make a difference around the world.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Our government is working together with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, environmental organizations and industry to advance conservation on Canada’s lands and waters. Together we have made great progress and achieved the 10 per cent global target for marine conservation ahead of the 2020 commitment. Recognizing we have a responsibility to Canadians, the world, and future generations we are committed to redoubling our efforts to protect the biodiversity of our ocean and support the sustainability of coastal communities. Focused and coordinated action by countries around the world is the only way to stem the decline in biodiversity and rise to the challenge of climate change. Canada’s participation in the Global Ocean Alliance demonstrates our commitment to achieving these goals.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada
In 2019, the United Kingdom established the Global Ocean Alliance to support a global 30 per cent conservation target by 2030 at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15 in Kunming, China in 2021.
Including Canada, to date, approximately 22 countries have joined the Alliance: Belgium; Belize; Cabo Verde; Canada; Costa Rica; Croatia; Fiji; Finland; Gabon; Germany; Italy; Kenya; Luxembourg; Monaco; Nigeria; Palau; Portugal; Senegal; Seychelles; Sweden; the United Kingdom; and, Vanuatu.
Minister Jordan announced Canada will join the Global Ocean Alliance at a marine protection webinar: Protecting the Ocean’s Most Important Places Progress towards protecting 10% of the ocean by 2020 and what comes next? organized by Friends of Ocean Action and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made huge strides to protect our oceans, conserving nearly 14 per cent of our marine and coastal areas ahead of the 2020 deadline, and exceeding the international commitment to conserve 10 per cent of our oceans by 2020.
Having achieved 13.81 per cent ocean conservation, we are now moving forward with a goal of conserving 25 per cent by 2025, and are advocating for other countries around the world to set a target of 30 per cent by 2030.