Investing in Large-Scale Conservation
Molly McUsic, President of the Wyss Foundation, shares why they are committed to supporting Thaidene Nëné as part of their $1B Campaign for Nature.
Inspiring conservation action around the world, the Wyss Campaign for Nature is a $1 billion investment to help communities, Indigenous peoples, and nations conserve at least 30% of the planet in its natural state by 2030. Contributing to these goals is the Wyss Foundation's commitment to supporting the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation’s vision for the Thaidene Nëné protected area. The foundation’s steadfast support, including a $6.5 million grant to the Thaidene Nëné trust, will contribute to the protection of 6.5 million acres and a world-leading co-governance model that safeguards the Łutsël K’é homeland and vital habitat for birds, wolves, and some of the last free-ranging herds of barren-ground caribou.
What inspired the Wyss Foundation to invest in Thaidene Nëné?
From day one, the effort to protect Thaidene Nëné was aligned with the Wyss Foundation’s core principles, which include helping communities permanently protect ecologically significant landscapes; assisting local communities and Indigenous peoples in their efforts to conserve the lands, waters, and wildlife that sustain economic well-being; and supporting protected areas which will stand the test of time and be effectively managed for conservation over the long-term.
Thaidene Nëné is a truly spectacular landscape. Its forests and tundra are wildlife-rich and provide a globally significant carbon sink. The waters of the Great Slave Lake are a source of subsistence and spiritual significance to the Łutsël K’é. Equally importantly, conservation of Thaidene Nëné was and will continue to be driven by the Łutsël K’é through an Indigenous co-management fund that provides sustained funding so the First Nation has long-term capacity to manage their traditional homeland in partnership with federal and territorial governments.
What do you see as our greatest strength in working together for conservation?
Nature United knows how to protect lands and oceans over the long term. You know the policy levers to pull that will ensure places are effectively managed for conservation and lasting durability. And you have effective people on-the-ground who know how to listen to the needs of local communities, helping to guarantee conservation is driven from the ground up.
What is Canada’s role in helping to achieve the Wyss Campaign for Nature’s ambitious conservation target?
The campaign is working alongside partners to help conserve 30% of the Earth’s lands and oceans by 2030 and to help mobilize the financial resources necessary to effectively manage protected areas worldwide.
Canada is providing global leadership to reach the 30-by-30 goals. The Government of Canada has committed to protecting 25 percent of its lands and oceans by 2025, en route to protecting 30 percent by 2030, and Canada’s Nature Fund is a global model for public financing to accelerate the pace of nature conservation.
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