With development pressures and a changing climate, biodiversity across Canada is threatened and decreasing nationally. To address this issue, the federal government announced they are investing $11.3 million over three years in the work of Canadian biosphere regions to increase biodiversity conservation efforts.

The funding comes from Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy program and will be allocated to nineteen UNESCO biosphere regions, including Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere (GBB) which stretches 175 kilometers along the east coast of Georgian Bay from Severn River to French River.

“This support will also help the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and its member sites further contribute to Canada’s goal of conserving 25% of lands and in-land waters by 2025, and work towards achieving 30% of their conservation by 2030,” says Greg Mason, Director of Operations for GBB.

“Biosphere reserves are a model for how communities can connect with nature in healthier and more sustainable ways. They inspire and empower Canadians to work together to address global challenges such as biodiversity loss and climate change. By investing in Canadian biosphere reserves, we are advancing important conservation work in areas rich with cultural and biological diversity,” said a statement from Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

On June 10, Dr. Rebecca Pollock, Executive Director of GBB was in Toronto on behalf of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA) at the funding announcement. CBRA is the national non-profit organization that supports and promotes the work of Canada’s biosphere regions.

Pollock commented on the significance of the funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada. “A three year commitment like this will help not just our biosphere organizations, but our partners and including Indigenous communities and municipalities, sustainably manage biosphere regions while conserving their biodiversity. It will also create conservation jobs at a critical time.” Locally, the GBB will receive an amount of $585,362 for delivering their three-year project.

The photo L to R: Leah Taylor Roy, Member of Parliament, Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill, Ontario; Dr. Rebecca Pollock, representing the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and Executive Director of the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere; and Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Minister of Natural Resources Canada who announced funding to protect nature and biodiversity on behalf of Minister Guilbault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.