Accelerating creation of Indigenous and marine protected areas with Oceans North in Canada
Oceans North is a Canadian charity that supports marine conservation in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities in Canada. In 2015, Canada committed to protecting 10% of its marine ecosystem by 2020. Canada announced protection of 13.82% in August 2019. Oceans North was instrumental together with partners, in advancing many of the areas declared protected including Tallurutiup Imanga, the largest co-designated Inuit protected area in history. Additionally, they have worked to secure some of the world’s largest industrial fisheries closures.
Canada’s ocean spaces, which support both wildlife and coastal livelihoods, are increasingly threatened by industrial development. Moreover, the Canadian Arctic is warming three times as fast as the global average as a result of climate change. This combination directly threatens the pristine marine ecosystems, biodiversity and coastal communities. Against this backdrop, there is a window of opportunity to accelerate marine protection, created by the current socio-political landscape of Canada. The country has achieved more marine protection in the last three years than it has in the last 150.
Leveraging this momentum, the goal for The Becht Foundation grant to Oceans North is to secure at least 100,000 km2 of new marine protection, together with Indigenous and coastal communities by 2021 along Canada’s Arctic and Atlantic coastline.