2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada

In 2015, Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial governments released the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Brochure_ENTargets for Canada in response to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity's Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its global Aichi Biodiversity Targets1. This suite of four goals and nineteen targets reflects Canada's particular context and priorities for biodiversity conservation, and articulates the ways in which Canada will contribute to the achievement of the global Aichi Targets.

Canada's goals and targets encourage:

  • Better land use planning management
  • Environmentally sustainable management across sectors

  • Improving information about biodiversity ecosystem services

  • Raising awareness of biodiversity and encouraging participation in conservation

Where possible, the national targets and their indicators are aligned with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators to ensure robust reporting over time.

Find a list of the goals and targets below and click on each target for more information. You can also download a brochure of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets.

Working together to conserve biodiversity

The 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada were developed collaboratively by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and governments, with input from a diversity of stakeholder groups. The goals and targets build on the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy and Canada's Biodiversity Outcomes Framework. They are intended to encourage and promote collective action by all sectors of society.

In order to achieve their long-term biodiversity outcomes, federal, provincial, and territorial government developed the following set of medium-term goals and targets. These aspirational goals and targets describe results to be achieved through the collective efforts of a diversity of players both public and private whose actions and decisions have an impact on biodiversity. Governments need to do their part but cannot act alone.

Engaging Indigenous people, local communities, and others

Implementation of the goals and targets relies on meaningful, full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In this respect, while Indigenous traditional knowledge and customary use of biological resources are specifically highlighted under targets 12 and 15, the traditional knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous communities are relevant for implementing all of Canada’s biodiversity goals and targets, as is protecting and encouraging customary use of biological resources compatible with their conservation and sustainable use.

Local communities, urban and regional governments, business and industry, conservation and stewardship groups, educational and scientific institutions and citizens are also all able to contribute. Canadians are invited to commit to doing their part and to share the results of their efforts.

Measuring progress

In 2018, Canada reviewed progress towards the national biodiversity targets. The details of this assessment are contained in Canada's 6th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Canada's 6th National Report takes stock of efforts by Canada's partners in biodiversity conservation, describes the status of Canada's progress towards meeting each of it national targets, and illustrates Canada's contributions to the global Aichi targets.

1Québec acknowledges the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, but develops its own instruments to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity and to contribute to the achievement of the Aichi Targets. Québec sets its own conservation priorities and timelines, and collaborates with the federal government and the provinces and territories where necessary.

Goal A. By 2020, Canada's lands and waters are planned and managed using an ecosystem approach to support biodiversity conservation outcomes at local, regional and national scales.

  • Target 1. By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. More information on Target 1...

  • Target 2. By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans. More information on Target 2...

  • Target 3. By 2020, Canada's wetlands are conserved or enhanced to sustain their ecosystem services through retention, restoration and management activities. More information on Target 3...

  • Target 4. By 2020, biodiversity considerations are integrated into municipal planning and activities of major municipalities across Canada. More information on Target 4...

  • Target 5. By 2020, the ability of Canadian ecological systems to adapt to climate change is better understood, and priority adaptation measures are underway. More information on Target 5...

 

Goal B. By 2020, direct and indirect pressures as well as cumulative effects on biodiversity are reduced, and production and consumption of Canada's biological resources are more sustainable.

  • Target 6. By 2020, continued progress is made on the sustainable management of Canada's forests. More information on Target 6...

  • Target 7. By 2020, agricultural working landscapes provide a stable or improved level of biodiversity and habitat capacity. More information on Target 7...

  • Target 8. By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (including marine, freshwater and land based) in ways that conserve biodiversity. More information on Target 8...

  • Target 9. By 2020, all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches. More information on Target 9...

  • Target 10. By 2020, pollution levels in Canadian waters, including pollution from excess nutrients, are reduced or maintained at levels that support healthy aquatic ecosystems. More information on Target 10...

  • Target 11. By 2020, pathways of invasive alien species introductions are identified, and risk-based intervention or management plans are in place for priority pathways and species. More information on Target 11...

  • Target 12. By 2020, customary use by Aboriginal peoples of biological resources is maintained, compatible with their conservation and sustainable use. More information on Target 12...

  • Target 13. By 2020, innovative mechanisms for fostering the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied. More information on Target 13...

 

Goal C. By 2020, Canadians have adequate and relevant information about biodiversity and ecosystem services to support conservation planning and decision-making.

  • Target 14. By 2020, the science base for biodiversity is enhanced and knowledge of biodiversity is better integrated and more accessible. More information on Target 14...

  • Target 15. By 2020, Aboriginal traditional knowledge is respected, promoted and, where made available by Aboriginal peoples, regularly, meaningfully and effectively informing biodiversity conservation and management decision-making. More information on Target 15...

  • Target 16. By 2020, Canada has a comprehensive inventory of protected spaces that includes private conservation areas. More information on Target 16...

  • Target 17. By 2020, measures of natural capital related to biodiversity and ecosystem services are developed on a national scale, and progress is made in integrating them into Canada's national statistical system. More information on Target 17...

 

Goal D. By 2020, Canadians are informed about the value of nature and more actively engaged in its stewardship.