OTTAWA, Canada – The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today issued the following statement as she concluded successful bilateral meetings in Ottawa, Ontario, with Sally Jewell, United States Secretary of the Interior.
Today, I was pleased to meet with U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. Following an urban hike on the Trans Canada Trail along the shore of the Ottawa River, we discussed opportunities for collaboration on protected areas and wildlife issues.
Canada and the U.S. have a strong record of collaboration on matters of environmental importance, including the recent signing of the Paris Climate Accord. We also share a history of leadership in the creation of protected areas and work together on wildlife management issues.
This year we are celebrating 100 years of collaboration under the Migratory Birds Convention. Our two nations have also committed to working together on a vision for migratory bird conservation for the next 100 years.
A key topic of discussion was identifying ways to work more closely together with the U.S. National Park Service to share tools and best practices and create opportunities for more Indigenous engagement in the management of protected areas. It is clear from today’s meetings that Secretary Jewell and I are both deeply committed to the importance of making national parks and protected areas more accessible, so that every person has opportunity to experience nature and learn about the environment.
I can say with certainty that we will build upon the history of collaboration between our two countries to increase our efforts to preserve and expand the system of protected areas on both sides of the border. These areas play a critical role in conserving nature, contribute to the recovery of species-at-risk, and help us mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
A commitment to wildlife conservation and protected areas binds our two nations. Through the unwavering spirit of cooperation that defines this relationship, we can achieve our mutual goals for wildlife and protected areas.”