Biodiversity loss is an environmental and social issue that affects the health of people and nature alike, from wildlife habitat being destroyed to communities losing access to food. Part of this is the devastating loss of birds we care about; in Canada, we’ve lost 40-60% of shorebird, grassland bird, and aerial insectivore (a group that includes swifts, swallows, and nightjars) populations since 1970.
NatureCOP (the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th Conference of the Parties) is an opportunity for the world to agree on a plan – to act together – to stop nature loss once and for all.
Barn Swallows Photo: Robert Barnes
The plan under consideration at NatureCOP (the post-2020 global biodiversity framework) addresses a multitude of areas needed to forge a path where people and nature live in harmony. The plan’s targets range from conserving land and sea to climate action, strengthening accounting and reporting mechanisms, funding for domestic and international action to conserve nature, and more.
The world needs Canada to show leadership at NatureCOP by helping to land a global deal to halt and reverse nature loss and committing to an ambitious national action plan to achieve this at home before it’s too late. As Canada’s only national bird conservation organization, Birds Canada has the responsibility to speak up for birds at this critical moment.
Ferruginous Hawk Photo: Sean Jenniskens
Birds Canada is engaging the Canadian government and sending experts to NatureCOP to ensure that the commitments made take birds into account. We are also working with a large coalition of environmental organizations mobilizing people in Canada to join us in putting pressure on the government during and following the conference. Our ultimate goal is to ensure our government follows through on implementing in Canada the commitments made at NatureCOP.
We are asking the Canadian government to:
- Respect the sovereignty and leadership of Indigenous Peoples and support Indigenous-led conservation.
- Make the ambitious goal of protecting at least 30% of land and ocean in Canada by 2030 a reality. By prioritizing protection of Key Biodiversity Areas, Canada can ensure the areas protected as part of the “30×30” commitment will truly benefit biodiversity.
- Transform the working landscapes used to produce our food by: expanding protections for grasslands, phasing out harmful pesticides, and increasing financial incentives to support food production that sustains biodiversity.
Bald Eagles, shorebirds, and waterfowl in the Fraser River Estuary Key Biodiversity Area, British Columbia Photo: Janice White
You can help biodiversity!
Whether or not you can be in Montreal for NatureCOP, you can take action to help halt and reverse biodiversity loss:
- Keep an eye out for events that may be happening in your community to coincide with NatureCOP. For example, a stop on the NatureBus tour! If you are in Montreal, you can join a march happening December 10 to show support for the government taking ambitious action for biodiversity.
- Your personal actions – like planting native plants, keeping cats inside, and buying biodiversity-friendly products – make a difference. Visit birdscanada.org/guide for your guide to helping birds and biodiversity.