Support for moves to protect nature grows 10 percentage points year-over-year, with more than three quarters of Canadians saying biodiversity loss must be addressed this decade
TORONTO, JANUARY 18, 2023 — A new survey from WWF-Canada shows that 77 per cent of Canadians believe we’re at a crisis point and must act in the next 10 years to reverse biodiversity loss. The findings indicate a growing sense of urgency — this number is up 10 percentage points (from 67 per cent) since the last time this question was asked in August 2021. The survey was conducted by Environics Research.
Overall, the results show broad support for Canadian leadership on biodiversity, like the kind demonstrated during the negotiation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in December, with 54 per cent saying they wanted Canada to play a leadership role to ensure the strongest possible conservation targets. However, Canadians also expect to see the government follow up on commitments and announcements with actions that will halt and reverse wildlife loss in a meaningful and measurable way: half of Canadians want the federal government to make meeting its target of protecting 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 a top priority.
WWF-Canada’s recurring survey highlights where attitudes on nature loss are shifting, and where they are staying the same. While there was a growing sense of urgency for action among respondents, Canadians remain skeptical about current efforts to restore and protect nature in their province (57 per cent think they are doing an “only fair” or “poor” job), in Canada (56 per cent say “only fair” or “poor”) and in the world (84 per cent say “only fair” or “poor”). Furthermore, two-thirds remain pessimistic about the future of the planet for future generations.
While the Kunming-Montreal Agreement itself provides an important global biodiversity framework, implementation of the plan is the key to its success. This will be the year that countries begin to translate the agreement into ambitious national plans and policies commensurate with the scale of the nature crisis. For Canada, this means following through on the target to protect 30 per cent of lands and waters by 2030, but also developing a clear restoration target for degraded lands.
“People in Canada cherish nature and we’re seeing people’s values coalescing to view the protection and restoration of nature as a top priority, alongside healthcare or the economy,” says Megan Leslie, president and CEO of WWF-Canada. “People know that nature loss threatens the stability of our future. And they’re worried we aren’t doing enough to chart a path to a future where nature is in recovery. We’ve got a big job in front of us, but WWF-Canada will continue to work with governments and Indigenous groups to ensure these commitments are met.”
Survey results are based on an online survey conducted with a representative sample of 1,021 Canadians (18 or older), conducted from November 18–27, 2022.
For more information about the survey or to request an interview, please contact [email protected]
WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive. For more information visit wwf.ca.