Tuesday , 30 May 2023
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Hamilton Conservation properties earn protected land status

Dundas Valley Conservation Authority

Three of the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s properties totaling 2,239 hectares have qualified to be officially deemed to contribute towards Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of  lands and waters by 2030. Canada endorsed the goal, known as the 30 by 30 target, as part of the Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last December. An assessment of the three properties, conducted in partnership with Ontario Nature, determined that they met strict national standards for the protection of biodiversity, qualifying as Protected Areas.

The three properties earning the designation are:

  • Dundas Valley Conservation Area
  • Beverly Swamp Natural Area
  • Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve

To achieve the protected areas designation, the property must be rigorously evaluated against a set of criteria that assess the eligibility of a site to qualify. It must meet the following:

1.            Clearly defined boundaries.

2.            Effective means to control all activities likely to negatively impact biodiversity.

3.            Protection is long-term, year-round and difficult to reverse.

4.            Managed by governing authorities so that conservation outcomes are achieved.

If it is found to have met all four criteria, a property may qualify as a Protected Area or an Other Effective area-based Conservation Measure (OECM), which differ in terms of the key objectives of the site. For Protected Areas, conservation must be the key objective of the property, whereas conservation is not the top priority for an OECM, but the property is still conserved because of the activities and management that occur. In this case, all properties were determined to be Protected Areas.

An assessment of the properties, completed by Ontario Nature in partnership with HCA, was submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) for their review. Upon the provincial government’s approval, the assessment was submitted to the Government of Canada’s Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) department through the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database, the mechanism for tracking progress towards the 30 by 30 target.

“Hamilton Conservation Authority is committed to preserving the environment and protecting the natural heritage features of our community. By implementing conservation policies and management strategies, we are able to meet federal standards and safeguard the biodiversity of these lands, while also providing opportunities for people to explore and enjoy these areas” says Lisa Burnside, HCAs Chief Administrative Officer.

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