Make Room for Nature in 2021

In 2020, we wrote to each Nova Scotian MP to remind them how much Nova Scotia’s natural spaces, species, and systems are worth. You can see the budget priorities we outlined for Nova Scotia in a copy of that letter below. From Feb 17th-19th, we are (virtually) attending Nature On The Hill to join other nature networks calling for the prioritization of nature and Indigenous-led conservation in the 2021 budget, and on April 9th, we join our allies again in calling Minister Freeland’s office. You can help!

Attend Nature Canada’s virtual Town Hall event, where we’ll hear directly from the federal Ministers responsible for protecting nature in Canada. The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, and The Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Ministers of Environment and Climate Change, and Fisheries and Oceans. Sign on to our letter to Minister Freeland, below. Or write to your own MP and ask them to make nature a priority in 2021!

Make Room for Nature in the 2021 Budget, Minister Freeland

Minister Freeland,

I am writing to reinforce how important the upcoming budget is for nature in Nova Scotia.

Recovering from this pandemic will be impossible if we must also battle multiple environmental disasters. Nature in Nova Scotia faces insurmountable hurdles on every front. Land use change, wetland loss, and the growing threat of climate change are only a few of the burdens weighing on Nova Scotia's shared natural capital.

The Prime Minister has committed to protect 25% of land and ocean by 2025, which gives me hope that Canada is finally on track to adequately safeguard our natural capital. I urge you to ensure that nature, and particularly the expansion of our protected areas system, are priorities in upcoming budget commitments.

Government also committed to prioritizing nature-based solutions to fight climate change. Suffering some of the earliest losses of old growth forest and carbon-capturing wetlands since European settlement in this country, Nova Scotia is more than overdue for some serious restoration work. We hope that this work will go much further than tree-planting, as our native Acadian forest ecosystems need much less planting and much more strategic policy and management.

I also urge you to follow through on the commitment to give meaningful capacity and leadership to indigenous conservation and natural resources groups in achieving these nature-focused goals. The Mi'kmaq have long stewarded Nova Scotia's lands and waters for the reciprocal benefit of the people and the environment and will be essential allies in this green recovery.

The pandemic has underscored profound connections between nature, humans and wildlife. Nova Scotia's non-profit sector, private landowners, municipal governments, indigenous leaders, and the general public are ready for a nature-based recovery. Please give them the capacity to achieve your goals.

I am urging you to ensure nature and the expansion of protected areas are priorities in upcoming federal budget commitments.

Sincerely,

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