OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 8, 2021 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to protecting Canada's nature, biodiversity, and species at risk, while also fighting climate change. Conserving and restoring nature are fundamental to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Climate change is altering the water cycle, resulting in flooding, droughts, and wildfires. It is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss, which is proceeding at an unprecedented rate, with up to one million species currently at risk of extinction.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced more than $5.4 million in funding through the Habitat Stewardship Program and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk to support 105 species at risk conservation projects for 2021–2022. These projects will be led by Indigenous communities and organizations, volunteer scientists and stewards, and landowners.
The Habitat Stewardship Program is funding seventy new projects, including the Canadian Bat Box project in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba to benefit Little Brown Myotis, an endangered species of bat in Canada. The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk is funding thirty-five new projects, including the creation of Bank Swallow habitat in Kahnawà:ke with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake in Quebec.
There is up to $9.2 million in funding available through the Habitat Stewardship Program and the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk for 2022–2023. These annual, application–based conservation programs provide funds to individuals, organizations, and communities wanting to protect the environment and work on recovering Canada's vulnerable species at risk, such as the boreal caribou, the monarch butterfly, and native species across Prairie grasslands. Many Habitat Stewardship Program and Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk projects target multiple species at risk by focusing on the recovery of their shared habitats. The two programs are now accepting project proposals for eight weeks until January 25, 2022.
By continuing to work closely with partners across the country, the Government of Canada is making meaningful progress on recovering species at risk and protecting their habitats.
"All across Canada, individuals and communities are joining forces to protect nature, biodiversity, species at risk, and their habitats. Canadians understand that by working together, we can build a nature-positive future. Through our support of Indigenous communities already doing important conservation work, we're ensuring we have the comprehensive knowledge needed to recover species at risk and protect their habitats. I'm inspired by Canadians taking leadership to protect biodiversity now and for future generations."
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Up to $6.5 million in funding is available through the Habitat Stewardship Program and up to $2.7 million in funding is available through the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk for 2022–2023.
From its inception in 2000 to 2021, the Habitat Stewardship Program has supported approximately 3,700 projects by providing more than $212 million in funding.
From its inception in 2004 to 2021, the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk has supported approximately 1,300 projects by providing more than $49 million in funding.
Funding for both programs is matched by recipients. Indigenous recipients must match every federal dollar by at least twenty cents, and non-Indigenous recipients by at least one dollar.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for funding aquatic Habitat Stewardship Program and Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk projects and opened its call for proposals on October 22.
Conservation funding success stories: Habitat Stewardship Program and Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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