$20 Million for Land Conservation in Nova Scotia

13 Dec 2022

Over 14,000 hectares of Nova Scotia’s finest wild spaces have been protected so far thanks to the unique and successful Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust (Land Legacy Trust), and on Monday, December 12 the Province announced an additional $20 million into this fund so that land trusts can continue helping protect even more lands across Nova Scotia.

“The Land Legacy Trust’s success is truly cause for celebration,” says executive director Bonnie Sutherland. “This unsung, yet transformative fund has dramatically advanced the pace and scale of private land conservation in Nova Scotia–already making 14,000 hectares of exciting conservation wins possible.”

Aerial sunset view at Port La Tour Beach. Photo by A for Adventure

Established in 2008 with a $23 million investment by Nova Scotia’s former Conservative Government, the fund’s purpose is to advance the protection of ecologically significant, threatened and irreplaceable natural areas on private lands. It enables permanent, on-the-ground conservation results that help to stem accelerating biodiversity loss and devastating climate change impacts. Today’s announcement will inject another $20 million into this innovative fund.

“Our government is committed to solutions for the environment, including conserving 20 per cent of Nova Scotia’s land and water mass by 2030,” said Sutherland. “Land trusts have leveraged $65 million worth of land conservation from Land Legacy Trust funds to date. That’s an amazing 300 per cent return on investment for the province. And today we can be assured that we can keep going.”

Nova Scotia is unique in Canada in that more than 65 per cent of its lands, including 85 per cent of the coastline, is privately owned. This means many of the province’s most ecologically important natural areas are beyond the reach of traditional government-led conservation efforts. Land trusts have successfully multiplied the conservation impact of the Land Legacy Trust funds by leveraging generous donations of land as well as significant federal, municipal, corporate, foundation and community donations.

The Land Legacy Trust supports conservation land trusts, like the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, who are the experts in protecting these highly significant, but increasingly threatened, privately-owned natural areas.

“Without the Land Legacy Trust many of Nova Scotia’s best and most beloved natural areas would have disappeared,” says Jaimee Morozoff, Nova Scotia Program Director. “We are deeply appreciative of the Land Legacy Trust.”

In just 14 years the fund has directly led to 179 new protected areas. These important and beloved wild areas include the Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s iconic 100 Wild Islands, the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes wilderness, the Mabou Highlands and St. Mary’s River conservation lands; and the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Shaw Wilderness Park; wildlife corridor on the Chignecto Isthmus and the Port Joli Focal Area.

The renewed Land Legacy Trust will help ensure that Nova Scotia meets its commitment to protect 20 per cent of its lands by 2030. By supporting private land conservation, the fund ensures the right lands, the most ecologically rich, diverse and unique lands, and the special places Nova Scotians treasure, are included in the 20 per cent.

Landowners, citizens and the business community can be a part of protecting Nova Scotia’s natural legacy by contributing to the conservation efforts of Nova Scotia’s conservation land trusts, helping them to raise the matching funds needed to unlock Land Legacy Trust grants.

“Today’s announcement is a big win for nature, and we invite Nova Scotians to celebrate the fantastic 14,000 hectares of wilderness protected to date thanks to the Land Legacy Trust by visiting nslandlegacytrust.com and sharing the news,” says Sutherland “Together, we will help ensure that even more of the most significant and best-loved natural areas are protected for future generations.”

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