St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Protecting nature is vital to the health and well-being of Canadians and is key to the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. Indigenous Peoples know this, and since time immemorial they have been stewards and managers of the land, waters and ice, and leaders in ecosystem conservation. Recognizing this, and in the spirit and practice of reconciliation, the Government of Canada partners with Indigenous communities on nature conservation.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, has announced that the Government of Canada is providing almost $3 million to Miawpukek First Nation to support their area-based conservation work. This funding will enable Miawpukek First Nation to conduct activities that will help them establish a new Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. Once complete, the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area will contribute significantly toward Canada’s goal of protecting 25 per cent of land and inland waters by 2025.
Through this funding, the community has hired four Indigenous community members as Indigenous Guardians. These Indigenous Guardians are using their Two-Eyed Seeing to collect data for negotiations toward a potential Forest Management Agreement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This work has resulted in finding sites of cultural and historical significance on the land.
The Government of Canada’s work to protect more nature comes as we prepare to welcome the world to Montréal in December 2022 for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). COP15 presents an opportunity for Canada to show its leadership along with international partners in taking actions to conserve nature and halt biological diversity loss around the world, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, the original guardians of the land.