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Protected Places

Learn about places that people want to protect across Ontario.

Quetico Provincial Park © Noah Cole

The Issue

In 2022, as a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada committed to protecting 30 percent of its lands and waters by 2030. The “30 by 30” target reflects the urgent need to make peace with nature and stem the accelerating loss of biodiversity worldwide.

The Government of Ontario has yet to adopt the 30 by 30 target, as recommended by its Protected Areas Working Group. Currently, less than 11 percent of Ontario is protected. We can and must do better.

We are calling on all political leaders to embrace the new target and commit to working together to protect our lands and waters for generations to come, in the spirit and practice of reconciliation.

Sydenham River Nature Reserve © David Coulson

“We share the same canoe, and it’s time for the paddles to hit the water. We are in fast water now, and we need all the wisdom we have to guide us through.”
– Rick Beaver

Why It Matters

Protected places provide safe havens for wildlife, increase our resilience to climate change, can sustain and strengthen Indigenous knowledge and value systems and much more.

Watch our videos: Indigenous Perspectives on Protected Areas, Transforming Conservation: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Ontario and Protected Areas and Climate Action in Ontario: A Cross Cultural dialogue

Featured are highlights from three gatherings with members of Indigenous communities, researchers, and representatives of conservation organizations and government agencies. We came together to explore approaches to decolonizing conservation and establishing protected areas that honour Indigenous responsibilities, rights and interests.

Nottawasaga River, Wasaga Beach Provincial Park © Noah Cole

What We Are Doing

Ontario Nature has a long record of getting millions of hectares of wild spaces protected throughout the province. We aim to ensure that Ontario meets the 30 x 30 target. To that end we are:

Mer Bleue Conservation Area © Robbie

What You Can Do

Caroline Schultz's Protected Places Campaign Presentation © Noah Cole

Protecting the Places We Love

Explore a map of candidate sites for protection across Ontario.

The Protected Places Campaign is generously supported by:

Ontario Greenbelt logo
Government of Canada logo