Grounded in Science and Collaborative from the Beginning
Our work in Canada began 10 years ago when our global organization, The Nature Conservancy, was invited to join an effort to conserve the Great Bear Rainforest. But in fact, our global organization has supported Canadian conservation for decades. We are proud of our history, which serves as a foundation for the goals and partnerships that drive our work today.
The Story of Nature United
More than a century ago, leaders gathered, debated and laid the groundwork for what would become our global affiliate, The Nature Conservancy.
The research-focused Ecological Society of America is formed. This is the beginning of The Nature Conservancy, which now operates in 72 countries around the world—including in Canada, where it works with its affiliate Nature United.
The Ecologists Union changes its name to The Nature Conservancy, and the organization is incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the District of Columbia in 1951.
The first Canadian members joined The Nature Conservancy.
The Nature Conservancy builds Canadian partnerships to protect key conservation lands in Canada. Over the years, TNC helped establish Conservation Data Centres, created the Canada/U.S. Conservation Partnership, and supported the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in cross-border conservation.
The Nature Conservancy was invited by local partners to join an effort to conserve the Great Bear Rainforest—which marked the beginning of our legacy in Canada.
The Nature Conservancy’s collaboration with local partners in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, resulted in a large-scale conservation agreement conserving 19-million acres, including 5-million acres permanently off-limits to logging and the balance managed under some of the world's most stringent harvest standards. Finalized in 2016, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement invests in local communities to manage the rainforest through ecosystem-based management.
The Nature Conservancy was invited by local partners to work in the Northwest Territories. Nature United supports the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation ’s vision for Thaidene Nene, their traditional homeland. Success will result not only in one of largest protected areas in Canada, but also in a precedent-setting model for co-management.
Our relationship with the Ahousaht First Nation began when Sean Atleo, Grand Chief of Assembly of First Nations asked The Nature Conservancy to explore a partnership. The agreement resulted in a loan to a First Nation owned timber company. Today Nature United is partnering with three First Nations in Clayoquot Sound to transform old-growth tenures into valuable assets for anew nature-based economy on Vancouver Island.
Building on more than a decade of conservation in Canada, Nature United is taking bolder steps than ever before to create a healthy Canada where people and nature thrive.
Our work in the boreal began with The Nature Conservancy’s five-year partnership with Tolko Industries focused on a 22 million acre forest tenure in Northern Manitoba, the largest in North America. In collaboration with three Canadian environmental groups Nature United engaged on technical research with Tolko to lay the groundwork for conservation, and for stewardship of woodland caribou, an indicator of healthy boreal forests.
TNC Canada became a Canadian registered charity while maintaining its affiliation with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization. We hired our first Executive Director in Canada, opened our Toronto headquarters and expanded our team across the country.
TNC Canada changed our name to Nature United. We believe that our future depends on uniting nature and people, integrating conservation and sustainable economic development, and working in partnership—together with governments, communities, industries and other organizations—to build solutions based on our shared values, rather than blocked by our differences.