About the Canadian Wetlands Roundtable

Introduction

The protection, conservation and responsible management of Canada’s vast and diverse wetland resources remains a key environmental and economic challenge of the 21st century. Since 2015, CWR members have been dedicated to addressing this challenge in a way that enables land and resource use, and the associated economic and social benefits. The CWR is co-chaired by Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. In addition to wetland science, management and stewardship, CWR’s programs develop and share trusted information.

Our Goals

CWR members have established three key intended outcomes for the CWR.

1. Improve wetland conservation, protection and management decisions, with emphasis on responsible management and landscape/watershed planning.

2. Support Canada’s social, economic and reconciliation goals.

3. Strengthen the role of wetlands in support of Canada’s national and international conservation commitments.

Ariel view of patchwork praries

Importance of Wetlands

Canada has more than 1.2 million square kilometers of wetlands — an area greater than the size of Ontario. Wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth and they offer valuable benefits to society.

Outdoor recreation enthusiasts retreat to wetlands to hunt, fish, trap and birdwatch and northern Canadian wetlands support a sustainable sphagnum peat industry. Wetlands also contribute to the economy by storing carbon, purifying water, regulating water flows, preventing erosion, filtering nutrients and providing wildlife habitat and food resources. Manmade infrastructure alternatives are costly and can’t replace the range of services.

Wetlands provide $4.27 billion/year in services worth for the Canadian economy. For every dollar invested in wetland conservation, Canadians receive $22 worth of services (Anielski et al., 2014).

Despite their evident value, more than 20 million hectares of Canada’s wetlands have been lost to urban, industrial, agricultural and recreational development since colonization (North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada), 1994). In settled areas, such as parts of southern Ontario, losses approach 90% (Ducks Unlimited Canada, 2010). Though society’s regard for the environment is increasing, we continue to lose nearly 12,000 ha of wetlands annually (Ducks Unlimited Canada, unpublished estimate).

The Canadian Wetland Roundtable is refining estimates of the economic value that wetlands provide — an important first step towards inspiring Canadians to consider the value of wetlands.

Body of water at a pastel sunset

Our Programs

Science

Using sound science to advance wetland conservation.

The Canadian Wetlands Roundtable advances wetland science and communicates results to Canadians. We promote science-based best management practices to land managers and back information-based decision making by governments to promote sustainable development.

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Management

Responsible management through wetland policies, programs, legislation and regulations

CWR is uniquely positioned to advance dialogue between industry and conservation groups. It recommends a consistent national approach based on a common interest in supporting wetland conservation while advancing sustainable development. Such standards would then be used to promote progressive policies that benefit wetlands.

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Stewardship

Encouraging wetland conservation and responsible management through partnerships

CWR seeks to expand its industry and conservation network through partnerships and collaboration.

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Engagement

Finding solutions and building support for wetland conservation

Public and stakeholder engagement are critical to conserving wetlands in Canada. CWR takes current science and builds support for progressive policies and legislation. We make Canadians more aware of wetlands and bring industry and conservation together to work on common ground.

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Our Values

  1. Stewardship

    We are dedicated to enhancing Canada’s economic and environmental performance through the balanced and responsible management of our natural resources.
  2. Collaboration

    We are committed to engaging with all stakeholders in wetland conservation and management, including traditional and local knowledge holders and wetland experts to achieve economic and environmental sustainability.
  3. Partnerships

    Wetland conservation success depends on partnerships with: primary resource businesses, landowners, Indigenous communities, conservation organizations, civil society, academia, and government.
  4. Communication

    We shall work collaboratively, identifying and communicating wetland policy options to government, industry and stakeholders, and promoting balanced environmental, societal and economic considerations.
  5. Communities

    We strive to promote trust, understanding, communications, innovation, continuous learning and mutual support within our communities.
  6. Excellence

    We are dedicated to satisfying our partner and members needs and honouring our commitments to them.
  7. Accountability

    Our decisions are informed, rigorous and transparent, and we take responsibility for our actions.
  8. Credibility

    We strive to provide a national voice for wetland management and conservation values; one that is always informed, solutions-oriented and science-based.

References

Anielski, M., Thompson, J. and Wilson, S., 2014. A Genuine Return on Investment: The Economic and Societal Well-being Value of Land Conservation in Canada. Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Ducks Unlimited Canada. 2010. Southern Ontario Wetland Conversion Analysis: Final Report. Barrie, Ontario. 23 p.

North American Wetlands Conservation Council (Canada). 1994. Wetland Policy Implementation in Canada. Report No. 94-1. Ottawa, Ontario. 127 p.

Support for this website provided by the Cabela's Canada Outdoor Fund

Through grants to Canadian organizations that promote advocacy, education, conservation and helping others, the Cabela’s Canada Outdoor Fund enhances opportunities for the outdoors community to enjoy the outdoors. This valuable work is enabled through the generous support of Cabela’s customers who round up to the nearest dollar at checkout in Cabela’s retail stores, through the call centre and online at cabelas.ca.