Ever wondered how a city known for its industrial prowess can also be a shining example of environmental stewardship? Welcome to Hamilton, a city that defies expectations by blending its industrial heritage with a deep-rooted commitment to preserving the farmland and natural areas that surround it.
These are a few of the reasons why Hamilton is a perfect partner for the Municipal Protected Areas Project (MPAP). This national collaborative project aims to build momentum around the critical role that local jurisdictions play in advancing biodiversity conservation by facilitating municipal contributions to Canada’s 30 by 30 protected areas target. The MPAP features pilot projects across Canada to demonstrate the meaningful impact that local conservation efforts have on the bigger picture.
“Hamilton can be a leader in the movement to protect and restore biodiversity. Joining the MPAP will truly amplify Hamilton’s environmental endeavours, making a positive impact on our city’s sustainability and reinforcing our commitment to preserving nature,” says Councillor Alex Wilson, Ward 13. “This collaboration will strengthen our efforts and encourage bold action to safeguard and enhance our precious natural areas, ensuring a thriving environment for generations to come.”
Aligning with these efforts, Hamilton has already endorsed the Montreal Pledge, a commitment to protecting biodiversity that is achieved through 15 tangible actions. Inspired by the Global Biodiversity Framework adopted at COP15, the themes within the pledge are synergistic with the objectives of the BAP.
“HNC is thrilled to be working with the city in developing and implementing the BAP in alignment with the Montreal Pledge,” says Jen Baker, HNC’s Land Trust Manager and chair of the BAP working group. “It helps set us up to take meaningful local actions that contribute to national and international biodiversity targets.”
The City of Hamilton and Ontario Nature are planning to work together to assess Hamilton’s natural areas for contribution towards the 30 by 30 target (joining other local landowners recognized for protecting near-urban nature). As part of the MPAP pilot project they will also be seeking opportunities to strengthen environmental plans and policies, meaningfully engage with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous-led conservation and the implementation of Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy, and promote initiatives and collaborations demonstrating Hamilton’s environmental leadership.
Jenna joined Ontario Nature in the summer of 2021 after graduating from Trent University and Fleming College. Her work supports the Protected Places Campaign by providing visual communication of significant environmental features and conducting assessments of protected places. Jenna has a deep passion for wildlife and the environment and can always be found in nature where she enjoys camping, cooking over fires, hiking and wildlife photography.