June 5, 2019 Ottawa, ON
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, issued the following statement to mark World Environment Day, 2019.
Today, on World Environment Day and throughout Environment Week, I urge every Canadian to pause and reflect on why nature matters to you, and how you can do your part to preserve and protect it for the future.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are the two great environmental challenges of our time. They are intrinsically linked and in need of urgent, coordinated and global action. Canadians are already seeing the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss on our land, in our oceans and in our freshwater. Whether it’s increasing forest fires or extreme weather events, a warming planet affects us all.
Recognizing the urgent need to act, our Government has taken unprecedented steps to conserve and protect nature, both on land and sea. This includes committing to conserve 10 percent of our marine and coastal areas by 2020; making important changes to our lawsto strengthen the protection of marine species and their habitats; and making historic investments to protect our environment through the $1 billion Nature Fund and the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.
Keeping our air, land and waters clean and healthy is a top priority for the Government of Canada, but we can’t do it alone. In April, Minister Catherine McKenna and I hosted the Nature Champions Summit in Montreal, where we launched a call to action to all levels of government here at home, to other nations, to Indigenous people, corporations and environmental organizations – a call to do more and to do better at protecting our nature.
We can no longer afford to work in silos and to focus protection on single causes. We need to take a holistic, coordinated approach. Just as all elements of nature work together to sustain life on earth, so must we.