Woodland Caribou A caribou grazes in a fall-colored field. © Public Domain


Canada Announces Steps Towards Biodiversity Accountability Legislation and Action Plan

Media Contacts

UN Climate Conference – COP28 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Nature United welcomes the Government of Canada’s announcement that it will table legislation to entrench the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in law and to adopt an actionable, whole-of-government plan for halting and reversing nature loss in Canada. 

“Canada continues to demonstrate global leadership in tackling biodiversity loss and climate change,” said Hadley Archer, Executive Director, Nature United. “By taking these early, concrete steps to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, Canada is modelling the need for leaders in government, the economy and civil society to translate this historic and ambitious agreement into accountable action.”  

In addition to announcing the Government of Canada’s commitment to introduce a federal nature accountability bill in 2024, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a “Milestone Document,” outlining a comprehensive, made-in-Canada approach for upholding the 2050 Goals and 2030 Targets contained in the Global Biodiversity Framework. 

The Milestone Document recognizes that meeting the Framework’s ambitions will require new forms of partnership to coordinate, scale and accelerate the contributions of governments, Indigenous peoples, civil society, philanthropy, academia, private enterprise and individuals across Canada.  

Quote: Hadley Archer

By taking these early, concrete steps to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, Canada is modelling the need for leaders in government, the economy and civil society to translate this historic and ambitious agreement into accountable action.

Hadley Archer Executive Director, Nature United

Nature United is particularly encouraged by the document’s emphasis on supporting Indigenous self-determination in conserving, protecting and restoring the lands and waters which they have stewarded since time immemorial. Canada has been at the forefront of innovating effective tools — including Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas, Project Finance for Permanence, and Indigenous Guardians — for achieving Canada's 2030 targets in a way that elevates Indigenous knowledge and upholds the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Nature United also welcomes the Milestone Document’s emphasis on Natural Climate Solutions and ecosystem-based approaches. By working in collaboration with stewards in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and other sectors of the economy, Canada’s 2030 National Biodiversity Strategy can ensure the resilience and long-term efficiency of productivity systems, while restoring biodiversity and tackling climate change in tandem.

Nature United supported the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework and has engaged in consultations on how that agreement should be implemented in Canada. We look forward to continuing that engagement, and building on recent progress and commitments, with a view to ensuring that Canada’s 2030 National Biodiversity Strategy and accountability legislation meet the following objectives: 

  • Deliver on nature protection in a way that advances reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, while supporting Indigenous-led economies that recognize stewardship as a cultural value and public good. This includes delivering on the Government of Canada’s historic $800M commitment to support four Indigenous-led Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) conservation initiatives, and ensuring associated policy and financing innovations become the norm, rather than the exception, for unlocking the power of Indigenous self-determination as a key driver on Canada’s path to 30x30; 
  • Support stewardship practices that will ensure the long-term, sustainability, resilience, competitiveness and vitality of key productive sectors. This includes working across federal departments to mainstream the Framework in key economic sectors, ensuring that Canada’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy elevates farmers, fishers, foresters and others as allies in Canada’s green economic transition, whose resilience and competitiveness is integral to the achievement of Canada’s climate and biodiversity goals;

  • Align public spending and policies with federal nature and biodiversity targets, while catalyzing Canada’s nature-positive economic future. This includes taking immediate steps to expand to an integrated climate and biodiversity lens for evaluating all federal policies and budget items. It also involves establishing a multi-stakeholder committee to guide the implementation of Canada’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy to study and report on subsidies harmful to nature and investigate approaches for supporting the Canadian financial sector to integrate science-based targets for nature and nature-related financial disclosure in their operations to align financial flows with the objectives of the Framework;

  • Recognize that the climate and biodiversity crises are interdependent and must be addressed both by accelerating biodiversity strategies and linking biodiversity and climate action targets and plans. This involves ensuring that actions to confront the dual crises of biodiversity and climate change are consistent and mutually reinforcing, including by ensuring coherence between Canada’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and its Nationally Determined Contribution, as well as its Emissions Reduction Plan and National Adaptation Strategy; and

  • Make progress on biodiversity targets transparent and accountable at all levels of government, and accessible to all Canadians. Drawing on the precedents set by the Net Zero Accountability Act and 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy must include domestic targets that are clearly linked to the targets in the Framework. The accountability act must make progress towards these targets transparent through interim progress markers. Further, the accountability act should mandate the appropriate ministers to report to Parliament, and to review and strengthen the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, at set intervals. 

Nature United continues to work in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous governments and groups across key sectors to advance science-based actions that support the achievements of climate and biodiversity targets and a Canada where people and nature are united, and ecosystems, communities and economies are thriving.

Nature United was founded as a Canadian charity in 2014, building on decades of conservation in Canada. Headquartered in Toronto, our organization has field staff located across the country. Nature United supports Indigenous leadership, sustainable economic development and science and large-scale conservation, primarily in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Manitoba. Our organization is also working to accelerate Natural Climate Solutions at national and regional scales. To learn more, visit natureunited.ca or follow @natureunited_ca.

We are the Canadian affiliate of The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organization with more than a million members and a diverse team that includes more than 400 scientists. Our global organization works in 79 countries — either directly or through partnerships — to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press.