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April 1, 2021
New working group to provide advice on strategies to expand protected and conserved areas
TORONTO — The Ontario government has established a working group of conservation experts to identify opportunities to protect and conserve more natural areas in order to enhance the province’s natural diversity and provide more recreational opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors.
“Expanding protected and conserved natural areas is a top priority in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and we want to find new, innovative ways to meet this commitment,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “That’s why we want to hear from conservation and community leaders whose expertise can help identify new strategies to leverage the ideas, talents and expertise of the private sector and other outside organizations to help build on our government’s conservation efforts, like the Greenlands Conservation Partnership.”
The Protected Areas Working Group is made up of experts from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives from Indigenous communities.
The working group will explore a number of areas, such as identifying opportunities and addressing barriers to increasing protected and conserved natural areas, and how public-private partnerships could be used to further advance conservation efforts. The working group will deliver a report with recommendations to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
“I want to thank Minister Yurek for his leadership on terrestrial conservation in Ontario. I’m honoured to chair the new Protected Areas Working Group which is made up of some of Ontario’s leading conservation experts,” said Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Schad Foundation. “For the next two months, our group will identify opportunities to increase protected areas in Ontario. By working together, we are confident Ontario will once again become a leader in conservation.”
Protecting and recovering natural spaces and species and supporting conservation efforts to preserve Ontario’s rich biodiversity are key commitments in the government’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
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