REGINA — With the UN Summit on biodiversity loss (COP15) to begin next month in Canada, a national land conservation organization says people and communities need to act with urgency to address nature loss here at home.
To conserve some of this country’s most important forests, wetlands, grasslands and coastal areas, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is asking people to support them on Nov. 29, which is the 10th annual Giving Tuesday. On this day, all gifts to NCC will be matched, meaning people can double their donations and make a major impact by protecting important habitats and the wildlife they sustain.
As NCC celebrates its 60th birthday on Nov. 28, it looks ahead to doubling the impact it has had since 1962, using its expertise and relationships to dramatically accelerate the pace of conservation.
Native grasslands are among the most endangered ecosystems in the world, and their loss means many native species are now critically endangered. Grasslands also hold value beneath the surface. After absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, grassland plants store the carbon within their vast root systems, preventing it from warming the planet. This natural process is one of the best solutions we have to slow the pace of climate change. That’s why we need to act now to protect our naturally occurring climate change fighters – grasslands.
“Protecting natural spaces are truly our allies in facing the challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change. And as a charitable land trust, we can’t do it without the support of people, businesses and foundations,” said Vanessa Headford, acting director of development for NCC in Saskatchewan. “This Giving Tuesday, people can double their impact for nature.”
Every dollar donated to NCC on Giving Tuesday will be matched. Thanks to support from Heather Ryan and L. David Dube Foundation, they have committed to matching donations totalling up to $100,000 to help the NCC’s efforts in Saskatchewan.
“Donors make the work the NCC accomplishes across the country possible. Your support ensures that wildlife, their habitat, and the lands we love and use for recreation are protected. On Giving Tuesday, people can double their impact in protecting nature that will benefit us today and our future generations,” said Headford.
“There is no solution to either biodiversity loss or climate change without nature conservation,: said Aerin Jacob, director of science and research with NCC. ”It takes everyone to support nature in a whole-of-society approach and urgency needed to get from less than 13 per cent protected lands and waters today and to meet Canada’s conservation targets of protecting 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. The looming threats of accelerating climate change and nature loss demand that we protect and restore nature, faster, at a much larger scale.”
Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has been viewed as the opening day of the holiday giving season and has engaged millions of Canadians in supporting charities and causes they believe in. Falling on the first Tuesday after the American Thanksgiving, it is a day that tries to turn the spotlight away from the glut of consumerism and on to the importance of groups that make a difference. Donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada can be made at natureconservancy.ca/donate.