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Guelph Contributes 274 Hectares of Conservation Land to Canada’s Protected Areas Target

Guelph conservation lands © Dudek Photography

Guelph, April 2, 2024 – The City of Guelph and Ontario Nature announced today that 274 hectares of City-owned conservation land now officially contribute towards Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030.

The goal, also known as the 30×30 target, was adopted by nations around the world as part of the landmark Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).

“Our commitment to environmental stewardship is central to the City’s Future Guelph Strategic Plan and reflects our community’s vision for a more resilient and sustainable city,” says Scott Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Guelph. “We are proud to celebrate the contributions Guelph has made towards the 30×30 target and will continue to advance important work to address climate change and preserve biodiversity in our city.”

The contributing properties are part of Guelph’s Natural Heritage System – a network comprised of natural spaces like rivers, streams, woodlands, wetlands, meadows and wildlife habitats that are connected by hydrological and ecological linkages.

In partnership with Ontario Nature – a charitable organization that protects wild species and wild spaces – and with the support of an expert review by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks and funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada, the assessment of these properties determined that they meet the rigorous national standard for biodiversity conservation.

Southern Ontario is not only densely populated, but it is also incredibly biodiverse. Securing opportunities to conserve within Southern Ontario is essential to safeguarding and enhancing biodiversity. The contributing properties have notable features such as Provincially Significant Wetlands, which provide essential habitat for species at risk like the snapping turtle and black ash.

“Ontario Nature would like to extend our congratulations to the City of Guelph on this remarkable achievement,” says Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature. “We are proud to work with municipalities that uphold strong policies and strategies to conserve biodiversity. Guelph is a leader in Ontario and beyond.”

Figure 1. Map of Guelph Natural Heritage System lands included in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD) that contribute to the 30×30 target.

About Ontario Nature

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education, and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit ontarionature.org.

For more information, please contact:

Katherine Galley (katherine.galley@guelph.ca)
Manager, Strategic Communications
City of Guelph

John Hassell (johnh@ontarionature.org)
Director of Communications and Engagement, Editor ON Nature magazine
Ontario Nature