Message from the President & Chair

Charting a bold new course for conservation

Fifty-six years ago, when the founders of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) gathered to launch Canada’s first national land trust, they did it with a common understanding: that government alone couldn’t protect Canada’s natural spaces and species. NCC was founded on the belief that it would take partnerships between like-minded Canadians to build our country’s natural legacy.

In the last six decades, NCC has built a reputation as a reliable partner in conservation and has successfully partnered with individuals, corporations and governments at all levels. An example of these successful partnerships was made evident in May 2018, when NCC, along with partners, announced the Birch River Wildland Provincial Park, in northern Alberta.

NCC facilitated agreements between the Tallcree Tribal Government and the Government of Alberta to retire timber quotas along the Birch River. Contributions from Syncrude Canada Ltd., the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, The Schad Foundation and others made this project possible. This new provincial park is now part of the largest stretch of contiguous protected boreal forest on the planet!

Birch River was just one of the many successes we celebrated with our partners in the last year. Together, we helped conserve 133,485 hectares (329,849 acres) from coast to coast. But while these accomplishments are impressive, we dare to ask: Are they enough? As we approach the year 2020, it will be essential to connect even more Canadians with our conservation mandate. The year 2020  marks the deadline for Canada’s commitment to conserve 17 per cent of our lands and waters.

While this target is a crucial goal, it cannot be our endpoint. Science tells us nature needs more than 17 per cent protected. Even with our help, Canada’s natural landscapes are still under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, climate change and so much more. Habitat loss and degradation are outpacing the rate of conservation. A diminished natural world will negatively impact our quality of life, the health of our communities and our economic well-being. We must do more, better, faster and sustainably because we may never get another chance.

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we’re ready to do our part to deliver more for conservation. We have a strong, science-based conservation planning process. We have great partners, including the Government of Canada. Our supporters give us the confidence to set ambitious goals and our “get it done” attitude and remarkable team of experts ensure highly effective conservation outcomes.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is at a turning point. We are setting the stage for a new direction for our work. In the coming year we will play a leading role in influencing better conservation across Canada to 2020, and beyond.

We know that only by working together will we successfully blaze trails and redesign conservation for the next generation. Together, we will continue to build on the work of our founders, and create a natural legacy for Canadians, by Canadians.

By Brian Yungblut

John Lounds
President & CEO

By Bruce MacLellan

Bruce MacLellan
Chair, Board of Directors