Nature Conservancy of Canada
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (December 2010)|
|Focus||Land conservation, restoration and management|
|Method||Conservation through property securement and long-term management and restoration of properties.|
|John Lounds, President & CEO|
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a Canadian private not-for-profit charitable environmental organization established in 1962. NCC works to achieve the direct protection of Canada's most important natural areas through property securement and long-term management and restoration of properties. Properties are acquired through various means, including donation, purchase, conservation agreement and the relinquishment of other legal interests in land. NCC works in partnership with governments, corporations, landowners, individuals and other non-profit groups.
NCC aims to protect the country's lands, waters, plants, animals, habitats and landscapes for the benefit of all Canadians, now and in the future. The organization has seven regional offices and has helped protect more than 2.6 million acres (1 million hectares) of ecologically significant land throughout Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is administered collaboratively by a Board of Directors and seven Regional councils.
The conservation process
The Nature Conservancy of Canada's on-the-ground work is led by a team of conservation science professionals who identify, plan and execute the protection of the best of Canada's natural spaces and manage and restore them for the long term. This process ensures that these conservation actions (like buying land, removing invasive weeds or mapping the location of rare species) are efficient and effective.
NCC's conservation process is guided by the following four steps, which happen at all scales (from ecoregions, to natural areas, to properties and projects):
Setting priorities: First, NCC staff identify where we should work, the species and habitats we want to protect, their health and the threats to them.
Developing strategies: Next, staff identify what we need to do to reduce the threats to those species and habitats and improve their overall health.
Taking action: NCC staff then implement these strategies, both on our own and with partners.
Measuring success: Staff then assess how effective these actions are, whether they are improving the health of the species and habitats we want to protect and reducing the threats to them.
This leads to a reassessment of priorities, strategies and actions, and the process begins again.
Conservation and land management activities
The Nature Conservancy of Canada engages in a wide range of conservation and stewardship activities, including:
- Environmental monitoring for general application of international and national regulations in Canada, working with a network of scientific advisers and ecologists local volunteers to prioritize protection and acquisition;
- Monitoring and scientific research. Since 2000, NCC has established ecoregional assessments for 18 Canadian ecoregions;
- Restoration and management of secured lands;
- Contributing to scientific studies on environmental assessment, management plans or proposals, etc.;
- Training and education for the environment or to public education and property owners on the themes of biodiversity, endangered species, pollution, overexploitation of natural resources, sustainable development, wood and forest, sea and ocean, freshwater, ecological footprint, etc.
The Natural Areas Conservation Program
In 2007, the Government of Canada launched the Natural Areas Conservation Program with a vision of investing in direct, on-the-ground action to conserve important natural habitat in communities across southern Canada. NCC was invited to lead this program with the participation of Ducks Unlimited Canada and land trusts across the country.
Under this program, the Government of Canada set a goal of conserving 200,000 hectares of ecologically significant land across southern Canada.
The Natural Areas Conservation Program was launched with an initial investment of $225 million over five years. Of that, $185 million was directly invested in NCC’s conservation efforts; $40 million was invested in other qualified organizations (OQO), including $25 million to Ducks Unlimited Canada. In March 2013, the Government of Canada announced its continued commitment to this program, with an additional $20 million in funding. This has been the largest investment by any Canadian government towards private land conservation.
The Government of Canada’s investment has been matched by Canadians, the private sector and other governments, resulting in more than $600 million in conservation activity through funding contributions and land donations.
With these investments, more than 369,000 hectares have been conserved as of June 30, 2013, providing habitat for 160 species at risk.
A Force for Nature Campaign
In 2007, the Nature Conservancy of Canada launched the Force for Nature campaign. The campaign goals were to raise $500 million for the conservation of 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of habitat across the country.
In July 2013, NCC announced the completion the Force for Nature Campaign, which raised more than $500 million and protected 752,000 acres (300,000 hectares) of at-risk natural habitat across Canada, home to more than 145 species at risk.