In honour of Canada's birthday, The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announced the public phase of its Force for Nature Campaign for conservation - its most ambitious effort to date to engage Canadians in protecting and caring for our natural areas.
The campaign's bold fundraising goal is $500 million to secure more than 500,000 acres (200,000 hectares) of ecologically significant land. The Force for Nature campaign leadership team is comprised of key influencers in Canada's corporate community who share NCC's vision to safeguard our natural heritage.
The Campaign was launched in 2007 to address the rate of habitat loss in the country which is outpacing the current rate of conservation. This is threatening important Canadian landscapes and species. Working coast-to-coast in southern Canada this Campaign is focussed on 90 priority areas where the threats to land and species are immediate and where tangible and enduring conservation results can be achieved.
'Building on the strength of our long time supporters the generous investments by government, corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals are helping us make great progress, and now we call on all Canadians to help us reach our goal of saving and protecting our land, the most exceptional resource this country possesses.'
The Campaign Leadership team includes Paul Desmarais Jr. (Chairman & Co-CEO, Power Corporation of Canada), John Risley (President, Clearwater Fine Foods), Barbara Stymiest (Group Head Strategy, Treasury & Corporate Services, Royal Bank of Canada), Darren Entwistle (President & CEO, TELUS), L. David Dubé (President & CEO, Concorde Group of Companies), Pat Daniel (President & CEO, Enbridge Inc.), David Aisenstat (President & CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd.), Kerry Hawkins (Retired President Cargill and Chair, Board of Directors CentrePort Canada), and Ron Brenneman (Corporate Director).
'There are few things we can do that are more beneficial than conserving nature,' says Paul Desmarais, Jr., Chairman & Co-CEO, Power Corporation of Canada and Co-Chair of the Force for Nature Campaign. 'Because of the immediate need and because of the size of the Campaign, we're going to have a meaningful and consequential impact on the Canadian geography - forever.'
'We need to be cognisant of the fact that Canada is one of the last bastions of huge tracts of pristine and important, environmentally sensitive areas. The responsibility to protect and preserve what is so important and makes Canada so distinctive is a never-ending responsibility,' says John Risley, President, Clearwater Fine Foods and Co-Chair of the Force for Nature campaign.
This announcement wraps up NCC's 'Gifts to Canadians' week. Every year, in honour of Canada's birthday, NCC announces a property in every province that has been permanently protected. This year the gifts cover 12.5 square kilometres.
They range from salt marshes and a rare haven for songbirds in Newfoundland, to magnificent tall trees on Prince Edward Island. From threatened native grasslands in Saskatchewan to spectacular cliffs that rise over Vancouver Island's Cowichan Bay. These are lands that Canadians love. They are lasting gifts that will be cared for to ensure a natural legacy for generations to come.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading private land conservation organization, working to protect our valuable natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast.