Three Hamilton properties helping Canada achieve environmental goals in response to alarming trend

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Published May 10, 2023 at 1:00 pm

Three of the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s properties spanning more than 2,000 hectares are officially contributing towards Canada’s goal to protect 30 per cent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030.

Canada supported the 30 by 30 target as part of the framework established at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal in December.

The environmental management agency and Ontario Nature assessed that the properties qualified as protected areas, meeting strict national standards for preserving biodiversity, the Hamilton Conservation Authority announced on its website on Tuesday (May 9).

The properties include Dundas Valley Conservation Area, Beverly Swamp Natural Area and Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve. These large natural environments contain provincially significant wetlands and areas of natural and scientific interest that have “high biodiversity value,” according to the conservation authority.

“Hamilton Conservation Authority is committed to preserving the environment and protecting the natural heritage features of our community. By implementing conservation policies and management strategies, we are able to meet federal standards and safeguard the biodiversity of these lands, while also providing opportunities for people to explore and enjoy these areas,” said Lisa Burnside, the conservation authority’s chief administrative officer, in a statement.

The conservation authority says the areas are not only sources of beauty and recreation but also are “a vital refuge” for many species, including species-at-risk such as the Eastern Meadowlark, bobolink, wood thrush, monarch butterfly, Jefferson’s salamander and snapping turtle.

The conservation efforts come at a time when Mother Nature is experiencing an “unprecedented” decline caused by humans, a dangerous trend that environmental experts have highlighted as the biggest loss of life since the dinosaur era.

About one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, many within decades, making serious effects on people globally likely, according to a UN report.

As part of global efforts to reverse nature’s deterioration, the Canadian government aims to conserve 30 per cent of the country’s land and water by 2030. The 30 by 30 nature conservation goal was announced as a part of a larger landmark agreement reached at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal in December, which strives to tackle biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems and protect Indigenous rights.

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