Twice the Wild is now protected, forever!

12 Jun 2024

Announcing a huge win for Nova Scotia's wild spaces!

This morning the Nature Trust announced that our campaign to protect Twice the Wild has crossed the finish line! With your support and love for nature, we have achieved the inspiring target we set in 2020 to double the protected lands under our care across the province in just a few short years. The Nature Trust’s network of protected lands has now reached more than 30,000 acres, a major milestone in nature conservation and an exciting win for all Nova Scotians.

Twice the Wild was launched in September 2020, the Nature Trust’s bold response to the urgent global call to action in the face of alarming biodiversity loss and the growing climate crisis. Saving land is one of the most important, most tangible ways to save biodiversity, and provides nature-based solutions to climate change and its devastating impacts from wildfires, floods and coastal erosion.

The Nature Trust committed to protecting another 15,000 acres of Nova Scotia’s most important natural areas, as much land as it saved in our first quarter century, by 2025.

Through Twice the Wild, the Nature Trust has saved more than 80 new conservation lands across the province, from remote islands in Southwest Nova Scotia harbouring colonies of rare sea birds, the iconic mountain wilderness of the Mabou Highlands and majestic, ecologically-rich St. Mary’s River, to beloved urban wildlands like the Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector and Purcells Cove Backlands.

These new conservation lands protect unique landscapes and ecosystems, safeguard critical homes for wildlife including rare and endangered species, and preserve essential corridors between protected areas. They are protected for nature, but for people too, providing wonderful areas to hike and paddle, fish and explore nature, and much needed public access to Nova Scotia’s treasured coast. They also sustain the essential services nature provides, from sequestering carbon and preventing floods, to filtering pollution from the air and water.

Unprecedented collaboration for conservation

Bonnie Sutherland, the Nature Trust’s Executive Director, credited the campaign’s success to an historic public investment in nature conservation, incredible community support, and unprecedented collaboration.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change spoke to the significance of Twice the Wild as a conservation achievement for Canada and beyond.

The Government of Canada has committed to protect 30% of Canada’s land and inland waters by 2030 and has made historic investments in the complementary conservation efforts of land trusts like the Nature Trust through funding programs including the Canada Nature Fund and the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. The Province of Nova Scotia committed to do its part by protecting 20% of Nova Scotia’s land by 2030. They too recognized the critical role of the Nature Trust and other partners, through significant investment in the Nova Scotia Crown Share Land Legacy Trust.

“We applaud the historic federal and provincial commitments to and investments in nature conservation that made the Nature Trust’s ambitious goal to double protected space for nature in Nova Scotia possible,” Bonnie noted.

The Sobey family, through the David and Faye Sobey Foundation and Paul and Marsha Sobey, also played an essential role in the campaign’s success.

“The Sobeys’ incredible million dollar Twice the Wild campaign leadership gift was game-changing,” said Bonnie. “Their gift created excitement and momentum, catalyzing a wave of generosity and inspiration to protect Nova Scotia’s natural legacy.”

The campaign ultimately raised over $5 million dollars in community support from across Nova Scotia and beyond. These community donations leveraged over $20 million dollars in government and other matching funds to save Twice the Wild.

The Nature Trust also acknowledged the important role of growing collaboration and partnership between all levels of government, land trusts, Mi’kmaw and other conservation partners, all working together in unprecedented ways to maximize collective impact on nature conservation.

“Just as nature itself doesn’t belong to any of us,” says Bonnie, “neither does the success of this campaign. Twice the Wild was a shared vision, realized though the generosity of many, many people and organizations. We are honoured to be able to safeguard that legacy.”

The future of Twice the Wild - and beyond

The 30,000 acres now entrusted to the Nature Trust will be well cared for by the Nature Trust team and our rapidly growing network of passionate volunteer Property Guardians. Through regular monitoring and environmental stewardship, the Nature Trust will ensure that the natural values of these lands will be protected, in perpetuity.

With Twice the Wild now achieved, no one could blame the Nature Trust for taking a well-deserved rest. But not surprisingly, we’re far from done.

We launched Twice the Wild to do our part in meeting the huge crises facing our planet and our future. We’re so proud to reach that goal, and thankful to all who made it possible – but we know that much more needs to be done. The threats to nature continue to grow. The impacts of climate change are rapidly accelerating.

“While we celebrate an enormous achievement today, nature desperately needs us to do more. To save more, to move faster, and to work together like never before,” said Bonnie. “You can count on the Nova Scotia Nature Trust to step up to do just that. More big, bold plans coming soon!”

Watch the recording of this morning’s announcement, and look for more stories about what Twice the Wild has achieved coming over the next months.

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