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Canada signs pledge to make wildlife, climate focus of COVID-19 recovery plans

A view of Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Travel Alberta

Canada has signed an international pledge to protect natural habitats

70 countries have signed on to this UN initiative, but Canada is the only one of the 10 largest countries by land mass

The countries are committing to put wildlife and climate at the centre of their economic recovery plans

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – As the world tries to bounce back from COVID-19, wildlife and the climate must be at the centre of those plans.

That’s the commitment from more than 60 countries, including Canada, signing the Leaders Pledge for Nature.

“We’ve also signed on to the high ambition coalition,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday. “What does that mean concretely? It means we’re committed to protecting 25 per cent of our land and 25 per cent of our oceans by 2025.”

Seventy countries have signed on to this UN initiative, which reaffirms their “commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism, based on unity, solidarity and trust among countries, peoples and generations, as the only way for the world to effectively respond to current and future global environmental crises.”

While he said he was happy so many countries signed on, Trudeau admitted his disappointment that Canada was the only one of the 10 largest countries by landmass size to sign the pledge.

“We need to be working with our friends and allies around the world to make sure Canada isn’t the only country in the top 10 committed to reaching these goals, because as much as we can all do together, we need to make sure everyone is part of protecting biodiversity,” Trudeau said.

“We’re going to move forward on things like banning plastics, like planting two billion trees, moving forward on protecting our wetlands, and really bringing Canadians to connect, once again, to their natures.”

This all comes ahead of a UN summit on biodiversity later this week.

“In terms of sheer acreage of the world, we need to get those other nine largest countries in the top 10 to do their part and step up as well.”