Nature Highlights in Budget 2023:
- $1.1 billion to conserve and protect nature in Canada and around the world, including $800 million to support up to four Indigenous-led conservation initiatives, to advance Canada’s commitment to protect 30% of land and water by 2030
- $650 million to clean up and restore the Great Lakes and other lakes and rivers across Canada
- $450 million in total to protect whales, reduce the ocean impacts of shipping, and protect fish and fish habitat as key follow-up actions to IMPAC5
- $350 million for international biodiversity conservation work in the global south as announced at COP 15
Nature Canada welcomes these important new investments to address the crisis of mass species loss which threatens the well-being and survival of us all. The new investments, along with historic levels of funding for nature from this government, form a solid basis for a comprehensive action plan to halt and reverse nature loss, which we hope will be delivered this year.
Despite the positive steps in Budget 2023, there are a number of concerning items that Nature Canada has noted:
- While many of the above investments align with the nature-related recommendations made by the Green Budget Coalition, the scale of investment does not match what the coalition recommended, and critically there was no permanent funding announced for protected areas.
- Missing from Budget 2023 are resources to implement Canada’s commitment to identify and redirect (or phase out) government subsidies that cause harm to nature. Instead, the budget adds almost $10 billion in subsidies for the mining and forestry industries, which have the potential to harm species and ecosystems.
- New subsidies for the forest sector are particularly concerning given the government’s lack of accurate and transparent reporting of the true carbon emissions associated with industrial logging, which Nature Canada revealed last year are on the scale of emissions from oil sands operations.
“We won’t halt species loss and climate change unless we stop supporting actions that cause harm. We expect the Government to make progress this year on its repeated international commitment to make sure every dollar it spends is aligned with its nature and climate goals.” Emily McMillan, Executive Director – Nature Canada
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