PAs History

A brief history of protected area commitments and achievements globally and locally

1987: World Commission on Environment and Development advocates 12% Protected Areas as an achievable goal (a 3 fold increase over the average level at that time) and sufficient to protect “a representative sample of Earth’s ecosystems”. The figure is widely cited as a goal for protection subsequently.

1992/3: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC define ways, structures for contributing to the sustainable development goals of Agenda 21. Canada is the first signatory to the CBD which affirmed that “the conservation of biological diversity is a common concern of humankind”. Includes commitments to comprehensive systems of parks and protected areas.

1994-1995: Nova Scotia consults on a proposed system plan for parks and protected areas

1998: Nova Scotia Wilderness Areas Protection Act (31 areas designated)

2007: Nova Scotia Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act contains goal of protecting 12 per cent of Nova Scotia’s landmass by 2015

2010: Canada commits “to a set of 20 targets known as the Aichi Targets established under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Target 11 commits parties to an aspirational goal of protecting at least 17% of terrestrial and inland waters and 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020.” -view comprehensive ENVI COMMITTEE REPORT (House of Commons)

2013: Nova Scotia Proposed Parks and Protected Areas Plan: “This plan advances Nova Scotia’s efforts to protect and conserve the natural landscape, potentially adding 220 properties and more than 249 000 hectares (ha) – a combined landmass equal to nearly one-quarter the size of Cape Breton Island. And it will protect 13 percent of our province’s outstanding lands.”

The 2013 parks and protected areas plan committed the province to 201 provincial parks, 205 new or expanded protected areas, 74 new or expanded wilderness areas, and 128 new or expanded nature reserves. That plan arrived under an NDP government.

The Environment Department reports that today [Feb 2020] there are 104 legally designated provincial parks, 74 wilderness areas (up from 40 when the plan was released), and 92 nature reserves (up from 22 when the plan was released). Vibert in the CH Feb 13, 2020

2015: Nova Scotia goes over 12% protection (to 12.3%) up from ~ 9.3 per cent in 2014

2018: Nova Scotia’s Lahey Report “. The work to be done on this [protection] leg of the triad is, however,  unfinished. Canada’s commitment to protecting at least 17 per cent of its land and fresh  water, and the ecological rationale within a triad framework for protecting lands  representing more than 13 per cent of Nova Scotia, should include ongoing development  of the province’s network of wilderness areas, nature reserves, parks, and privately  conserved lands. ”

2019: A comprehensive review prepared as background for upcoming negotiation of the post-2020 Framework for Biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity [now delayed to 2021] concludes #1 “The 17 per cent terrestrial and inland waters, and 10 per cent marine and coastal targets from Aichi Target 11 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 are not adequate to conserve biodiversity” #4 “The global protection of a minimum of 30 per cent and up to 70 per cent, or even higher, of the land and sea on Earth is well supported in the literature. The call for 50 per cent of the Earth is a mid-point of these values and is supported by a range of studies.”*

2020:  Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau commits on world stage to protecting at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030 View CPAWS Report