Last week, we were pleased to be named one of Canada’s top environmental charities for 2013 by Charity Intelligence Canada. In a report on the environmental sector, Charity Intelligence Canada looked at three of the most pressing issues facing Canada’s environment and selected seven charities that addressed these issues and achieved the best track record of results.
“With our successes in getting official recognition of several key sites for environmental protection, we’ve had a very good year we can be proud of,” said Ian Davidson, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “We’re pleased to have this hard work recognized by Charity Intelligence,” Davidson continued.
Nature Canada was selected as a top performing environmental charity for its advocacy work on endangered species and habitat protection. The nomination is a nod to Nature Canada’s major educational program with Parks Canada and successful advocacy campaigns on the creation and better protection of National Parks and National Wildlife Areas, endangered species legislation and habitat stewardship. Nature Canada was actively engaged in the Northern Gateway Pipeline process as an advocate for nature and wildlife and was instrumental in bringing together conservationists from around the world for BirdLife International’s World Congress in Ottawa this past June.
However, the Charity Intelligence report recognizes that there’s still work to be done. Only 12.2% of Canada’s land is protected, ranking 16th out of 30 OECD countries. As a comparison, in the United States, 24% of land is protected. In terms of oceans, Canada ranks further down the list in 70th place in the protection of marine ecosystems. Fragile arctic ecosystems and watersheds are particularly in need of protection. Canada has an estimated 70,000 species but this valuable biodiversity is fragile with a third of species threatened.
Policy analysis and research, like the kind that Nature Canada conducts, is an important part of finding solutions to these environmental challenges. In fact briefing notes prepared for the former Environment minister, Peter Kent, revealed the Harper government acknowledges the "significant environmental policy analysis and research" that is carried out by Nature Canada and other environmental non-profits and think tanks.
While the challenges facing Canada’s environment and wildlife are significant, Nature Canada’s programs and partnerships are strongly positioned to affect positive change for Canada’s threatened species and habitats. We would also like to congratulate the environmental charities featured in the report on their successes this past year in protecting and conserving Canada’s wildlife and habitat.