Environment Canada

Environment Canada

August 28, 2009 15:31 ET

Government of Canada Supports Local Community Organization Delivering Results on the Environment

MEDICINE HAT, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 28, 2009) - LaVar Payne, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat, on behalf of Canada's Environment Minister Jim Prentice, announced an investment of $427,525 to the Alberta Conservation Association for the Alberta MULTISAR project under the Habitat Stewardship Program.

"The Government of Canada is committed to protecting and preserving our environment," said Minister Prentice. "We are proud to support the on-the-ground efforts of Canadians across the country to aggressively protect the plants and animals at risk in our communities. Grassroots initiatives like these help us to deliver real results for Canadians by improving our environment."

The Government is investing $3 million this year alone in communities across the Prairie Provinces and the North through the Habitat Stewardship Program. The Program contributes to the recovery of endangered, threatened and other species at risk while also preventing species from becoming a conservation concern.

The Alberta MULTISAR project promotes stewardship activities through the voluntary participation of residents on both Crown and private land. MULTISAR is a collaborative effort between government, non-government and landholders in Southern Alberta. To date, habitat conservation strategies have been applied to 17 properties totalling almost 200,000 acres of land where species at risk and their habitats are being responsibly managed.

"The success of the MULTISAR program is the result of individuals, conservation groups, companies and government who are committed to species at risk conservation and recovery," states Todd Zimmerling, President and CEO, Alberta Conservation Association. "We can be optimistic about the future of conservation with such strong support at the local level from landowners and ranchers who manage the land and recognize the value of maintaining or creating habitat for these species."

"The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the environmental priorities of Canadians," said Mr. Payne. "Today's announcement is another concrete example of our commitment to supporting community efforts to protect your local environment, as well as in communities across Canada."

The Habitat Stewardship Program is intended to help Canadians protect species at risk and their habitats. The overall goal is to contribute to the recovery of endangered, threatened and other species at risk while also preventing other species from becoming a conservation concern. The Program is part of 12 community action programs managed or co-managed by Environment Canada.


BACKGROUNDER

PROTECTING SPECIES AT RISK: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA'S HABITAT STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

As part of Canada's national strategy for the protection of species at risk (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/Q4_e.cfm), the Government of Canada established the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. This program allocates funds to projects that conserve and protect species at risk and their habitats and help to preserve biodiversity. This year the Government of Canada committed $13 million to support the recovery of species at risk through 233 projects in communities across the country.

These funds promote participation by local communities to help with the recovery of species at risk and prevent other species from becoming a conservation concern, engaging Canadians from all walks of life in conservation actions to benefit wildlife.

The Habitat Stewardship Program provides funding to implement activities that protect or conserve habitats for species listed as "at risk" (endangered, threatened, or of special concern). These activities take place on private lands, provincial Crown lands, Aboriginal lands, or in aquatic and marine areas across Canada. The program also fosters partnerships among organizations interested in the recovery of species at risk. Hundreds of Habitat Stewardship Program projects are currently underway across Canada.

The Habitat Stewardship Program has funded 32 projects this year in Canada's prairie provinces.

The program objective is to achieve two-to-one leveraging on funds that it invests, so that for every dollar provided by the Habitat Stewardship Program, two dollars are raised by project recipients. This leveraging can include either financial or in-kind resources such as volunteered labour, products, or services. Partner funding and other support broaden the scope of projects, improve on-the-ground results, and strengthen the public and private collaboration that is essential to involving all Canadians in stewardship activities for species at risk. The program directs funds where they are needed most - into the hands of people who can make a difference: those who work on Canada's lands and waters and who care about this country's natural legacy.

The Habitat Stewardship Program funds activities designed to protect species and their habitat, such as establishing a conservation agreement between a landowner and a land trust for the protection of wildlife habitat. It also supports activities that improve habitat for species at risk, such as river bank restoration. The program also provides funding to initiatives that mitigate threats to species at risk, for example fencing to protect nesting grounds, or modified fishing gear to prevent incidental catch of non-targeted fish. Projects under the Habitat Stewardship Program address both habitat conservation and threat mitigation, benefiting over 300 listed species. The program has established over 200 partnerships with Aboriginal organizations, landowners, resource users, nature trusts, provinces, the natural resource sector, community-based wildlife societies, educational institutions, and conservation organizations.

The Habitat Stewardship Program is administered by Environment Canada and managed cooperatively with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency.

(Egalement offert en francais)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    www.ec.gc.ca