Catherine Grenier, the president and CEO with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), was in Winnipeg this week.

In a news release, NCC says private land conservation has an important role to play in curbing global climate change and mitigating its impacts on our communities, as acknowledged by the world’s experts, politicians and business leaders at the current UN Climate Change Conference.

NCC says private land conservation and restoration are cost-effective and important solutions to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Across Canada, NCC has helped conserve 14 million hectares (35 million acres) of forests, wetlands, grasslands and coastal ecosystems since 1962, including over 71,161 hectares (175,843 acres) across 10 natural areas critical to Manitoba's biodiversity.

“There has never been a more important time for nature conservation,” said Grenier. “We are pleased to deliver part of the solution when it comes to addressing climate change. From raising the necessary funds for private land conservation to protecting and restoring these ecosystems, our organization is pleased to support Canada’s climate and conservation goals, among them to protect 30 per cent of the country’s land and water by 2030. When we collaborate with our diverse partners, we can unlock a suite of climate solutions.”

Kevn Teneycke is NCC’s Manitoba regional vice president.

“With the droughts and heat waves experienced this past summer, the impacts of climate change are more apparent than ever. Many private conservation projects in Manitoba can provide global benefits, as they pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it. They'll provide local climate benefits through enhanced flood and drought mitigation. These areas are also key habitats for our rare and threatened plants and animals,” he said.

Teneycke notes that conservation areas, like the ones secured by NCC and its partners, help protect communities from extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change. Wetlands swell like sponges during periods of heavy rain and snowmelt, slowing water flow and saving communities downstream from potential flooding. Forests and grasslands play a role too, not just in storing carbon, but in cleaning the air around them and managing water flow.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading private, not-for-profit land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC has helped protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast.