Canada’s Voluntary National Review – Report Synopsis
The 2030 Agenda presents Canada and the world with a historic opportunity to positively shape how societies of tomorrow grow and develop sustainably and inclusively to the shared benefit of all. It is an opportunity to build a more prosperous and resilient future where the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development are advanced in a balanced and integrated way, “leaving no one behind”.
Canada is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals at home and abroad. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his address to the UN in September 2017, “the SDGs are as meaningful in Canada as they are everywhere else in the world.”
Canada’s Voluntary National Review underscores the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement all 17 SDGs and the principles that underpin the 2030 Agenda, including “leaving no one behind.” As Canada’s first review, this report takes stock of national actions, achievements and challenges, and identifies next steps in implementing the 2030 Agenda. Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda is a work in progress. While Canada has attained an overall high standard of social and economic development, three million Canadians still struggle to satisfy their basic needs. Indigenous peoples, women, youth and the elderly, the LGBTQ2 community, newcomers to Canada, and persons with disabilities are more likely to face poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.
Canada is responding to these challenges through concrete actions to reduce poverty, advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, narrow the socio-economic gaps that exist between different groups, foster inclusion and celebrate diversity, and improve equality of opportunity for all.
While Canada has a relatively small population, it also has a large landmass, most of it located in the Northern half of the Northern hemisphere. These factors contribute to relatively heavier energy and transportation. To respond to these national circumstances, the Government of Canada is taking firm action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean technology and innovation.
Canada’s priorities at the global level align with its priorities domestically. In June 2017, Canada announced its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to achieve this goal and drive progress on all SDGs.
National Strategy and Coordinating Structures
The Government of Canada’s policies, programs and priorities are already well-aligned to the SDGs. Canada’s 2018 Federal Budget allocated new funds to establish an SDG Unit, which will ensure effective 2030 Agenda coordination across federal departments and agencies and with Canadian stakeholders, and to track Canada’s progress on the SDGs. Federal departments and agencies have been tasked to further examine how their policies and programs are contributing to the 2030 Agenda’s goals and targets. Canada will mainstream a gender-responsive perspective in the implementation of the SDGs, consistent with its emphasis on gender equality as a cross-cutting priority.
The Government will launch a process in the coming months to develop a national strategy on the 2030 Agenda through collaboration with all levels of government, Indigenous peoples, civil society and the private sector. Data is key to developing solutions to challenges facing the implementation of this Agenda, to ensure no one is left behind, and to track progress on the SDGs. As such, this report includes validated Canadian data for the SDG Global Indicator Framework.
Canada recognizes that innovative, multi-stakeholder partnerships are essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda, including to mobilize additional sources of capital in support of the SDGs. Across Canada, governments, organizations and individuals are already answering the 2030 Agenda’s call to action and convening new partnerships to respond in new ways to the challenges we collectively face. Going forward, the Government of Canada will strengthen efforts to bring together all segments of society in Canada around the SDGs, including in the development of the national strategy. Canada will also continue to work with its domestic and international partners to foster new and innovative solutions to realize this historic and transformative Agenda.
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
|Input on the possibility of convening a high-level event on sustainable development|
The UN Environment Clean Seas campaign (#OceanAction 13900) aims to secure commitments from governments, private sector and the public for actions to reduce the amount of plastics which are released in the worlds’ oceans. This can include improving plastic management and banning microbeads in cosmetics to reduce the use of single-use plastics. As part of Canada’s commitment to take action on marine litter, Canada has joined the UN Environment Clean Seas Campaign . The Government of Canada is taking action on toiletries that contain plastic microbeads (#OceanAction19108). The final regu...[more]
As Chair of the G8, Canada made maternal, newborn and child health a priority for the G8 Muskoka Summit in June 2010. At the Muskoka Summit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed C$1.1billion in new and additional funding for women's and children's health as part of the Muskoka Initiative. Prime Minister Harper also confirmed renewal of existing resources of C$1.75 billion, meaning Canada will provide C$2.85 billion for MNCH by 2015. Canada will focus its efforts on improving the services and care needed to ensure healthy pregnancies and safe delivery, and placing a particular emphasis on me...[more]
In November 2016, the Government of Canada launched a $1.5 billion (CAD) national Oceans Protection Plan to help keep Canadian waters and coasts safe and clean, for todays use and for future generations. This national strategy will protect Canadas coasts and waterways and to preserve and restore marine ecosystems vulnerable to increased marine shipping and development. As part of the Oceans Protection Plan the Government of Canada is investing in scientific research activities which will aim to address threats to marine mammals and better understand the potential for cumulative effects fr...[more]
Canada, as a Party to the London Protocol, will continue to work towards the prevention and where possible, the elimination of marine pollution from dumping at sea. Canada provides financial and in-kind support for technical cooperation and assistance programs that build the capacity to implement the London Protocol regime. This support enables new countries to join and implement the London Protocol, thus broadening its reach and making it a truly global marine pollution prevention treaty. Domestically, Canada will continue efforts to address the sources of marine pollution by implement...[more]
Scientific research and monitoring activities play a major role in our understanding of the impacts of human activities on the marine environment. Advances in technology and development of human capacity contribute our understanding of the ocean and its interaction with competing pressures.The increased knowledge is fundamental for improved prediction and forecasting, sustainable use of marine resources, effective management of human activities, and the development of mitigation strategies. The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing its science capacity and ocean and freshwater res...[more]
The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and alleviat...[more]
The Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) aims to promote the sustainable management of the Congo Basins' forests and wildlife by improving communication, cooperation, and collaboration among all the partners. It does not intend to create new institutions, but through the partnership forum and transparency and information sharing to assist partners and their associates to work better. Principal objectives include the preservation of the biodiversity and ecology of the forest and wildlife, placing their protection and use on a sustainable basis for the long-term benefit of the region's inhabita...[more]
Delivering Healthy Futures is a four-year project being implemented by the Jane Goodall Institute. This maternal, newborn and child health initiative is located in North Kivu and Maniema provinces in Eastern DRC. The ultimate objective is to contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the targeted regions. This is being achieved through three expected outcomes: a) improving the delivery of maternal care by health workers; b) increasing community members (women and men) knowledge on reproductive health, family planning, safe pregnancy, disease prevention and WASH; and c) ...[more]
The St. Anns Bank Oceans Act Marine Protected Area (MPA) provides protection from the impacts of human activities, adding an additional 0.08% (4 364 km2) of protection to Canadas oceans. Located to the east of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, St. Anns Bank contains ecologically and biologically significant features including unique habitats, areas of high biodiversity, and areas of high biological productivity. It is an important habitat for several commercial and non-commercial species. Within St Anns Bank, any activity that disturbs, damages, destroys or removes a living marine organism or any p...[more]
Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam (Darnley Bay) Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, as defined by the Western Arctic Claim Inuvialuit Final Agreement. The MPA was established through a collaborative process with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and other stakeholders in the region and the government of the Northwest Territories. The MPA will contribute to Canadas Western Arctic bioregion network of marine protected areas and Canadas overall marine conservation targets by increasing protection in Canadian waters by 0.04%. The MPA aims to maintain the integr...[more]
The Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs Marine Protected Area aims to conserve the biological diversity, structural habitat, and ecosystem function of four glass sponge reefs. The MPA will contribute approximately 0.04% to Canadas marine conservation targets. Thought to be the largest living example of glass sponge reefs from the Jurassic period, the reefs are located at depths of 140-240m below the surface. The fragility of the reefs makes them vulnerable to damage from human activity. The MPA is comprised of a Northern Reef Marine Protected Area, Central Reefs Marine...[more]
In June 2016, Canada announced a five-point plan to reach its national and international marine conservation targets. One initiative is to identify existing and establish new other effective area-based conservation measures (OEABCM). Discussions with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Task Group on OEABCMs, the CBDs Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, and the Canadian Council of Ecological Areas informed the definition of OEABCM. Canadas Science Advisory Secretariat Process informed on the characteristics and factors to be used in determini...[more]
A portion of Canadas Offshore Pacific Bioregion has been identified as an area of interest (AOI) for possible future protection as a Act Marine Protected Area. The Offshore Pacific AOI is located in the southern portion of the Offshore Pacific Bioregion extending from the continental shelf break, west of Vancouver Island, to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary with an area of approximately 140,000 km2. The interim conservation objective of the Offshore Pacific AOI is to contribute to the protection and conservation of the unique seafloor features (i.e., seamounts and hydrothermal vents...[more]
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is multi-stakeholder network of more than 150 data champions harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. Its members represent the full range of data producers and users, including governments, companies, civil society groups, international organizations, academic institutions, foundations, statistics agencies and data communities. The Global Partnership serves as an invaluable convener, connector and catalyst, building trust and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to fill critical data gaps and ensure data is acc...[more]
Current knowledge of the marine ecosystems in the central Arctic Ocean is very limited. Uncertainty remains with respect to fish species distribution and abundance, northern colonization by fish species and its effects on ecosystems, and the ecosystem effects of fishing in this region. The effects of climate change and ocean acidification on the oceanography and primary productivity of the Arctic Ocean are also unknown. Four meetings have been held since 2011 of the Scientific Experts on Fish Stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean to work towards improving the state of knowledge of the marine e...[more]
Aichi target 11 states that by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes. This goal is reinforced by Sustainable Development Goal 14.5 (by 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent...[more]
On June 7, 2017 the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced existing fisheries management measures in Canadian waters that provide refuge to fish, mammals and their habitat, contributing to Canadas 2017 marine conservation targets. There are five criteria, which Canada has developed, that these conservation measure must meet in order to contribute to Canadas marine conservation targets: the geographic location must be clearly defined; stock management or conservation objectives need to directly relate to an important species or habitat; the area must contain an important species and ...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
Live Green Toronto is a community-based program where proactive community members, volunteers and experts can channel their ideas into action. The goal is to provide the funding means and engagement events in order to raise awareness of local efforts and change the way people impact their communities. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series Live Green Toronto was designed to help neighbourhoods and citizens reduce climate change impacts at the local level. Active participation, through a series of networking, educational, and funding opportunities for social and infrastructural projects, provide t...[more]
In its 2017 budget, the Government of Canada had made a financial commitment over four years to protect the Last Ice Areathe only Arctic region expected to retain summer sea ice until 2050. As the last permanent ice-covered region in the Arctic, the area will be essential to ice-dependent species such as polar bears, beluga, narwhal, seals, walrus and the Inuit communities that depend on them for food. In partnership with Inuit, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will work together with all partnersincluding the Parks Canada Agency and other federal departments, other governments, management organiz...[more]
Muskoka Initiative: In June 2010 at the G8 Muskoka Summit, partners to the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health committed US$7.3 billion in new and additional funding for MNCH by 2015. It was anticipated that, subject to respective budgetary processes, the Muskoka Initiative would eventually mobilize more than US$10 billion. In June, G8 partners committed US$5 billion in new and additional funding by 2015. Together, the Governments of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UN Foundation co...[more]
In November 2016, the Government of Canada launched the $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan. Canadas coastal marine environments greatly contribute to the overall health of our oceans. They are vital to a vast array of marine life, crucial indicators of global marine environmental health, critical to the Canadian economy and important to all Canadians. However, there is global recognition that marine and coastal ecosystems are suffering a decline in biodiversity and irreparable alterations to ecosystem functions. Under the Oceans Protection Plan the Government has identified coastal ...[more]
A Policy on Green Procurement is issued in 2006. Source: A Policy on Green Procurement issued in 2006 requires that environmental performance considerations be embedded into the government's procurement decision-making process in the same manner as price, performance, quality and availability.
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting our oceans and marine life for future generations. In support of that goal, in February 2017 Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced announced over $1 million in support for two new research projects to monitor contaminants and investigate their impacts in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing $399,000 to the Vancouver Aquarium to help implement Pollution Tracker, a new science program that will help identify the sources of contaminants in British Columbia and inf...[more]
By Summer 2017, Canada is targeting publication of the Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations that will prohibit the manufacture, import and sale of all toiletries that contain plastic microbeads including cosmetics, non-prescription drugs and natural health products.