Most provinces didn't come close to meeting 2020 conservation targets, report says

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Quebec and the federal government are the only jurisdictions to come close to meeting Canada's 10-year-old international promise to conserve 17 per cent of its land mass by 2020, a new report says.

Nationally, Canada met and exceeded its goal to conserve 10 per cent of its oceans, but fell short by more than three percentage points on the goal to conserve 17 per cent of its land mass, according to the report released Tuesday by the  Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

The society says Alberta performed the worst, cancelling previously planned protections, delisting parks and attempting to open the Rocky Mountains to coal mining.

"A lot of it has to do with political will," said society spokeswoman Alison Woodley. 

The group chose to examine how close different Canadian jurisdictions came to meeting its Aichi targets, an international agreement signed by Canada in 2010. The idea, said Woodley, was to learn how to better meet the next set of conservation goals — 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030.

Report looked at international standards

The report used internationally recognized standards of what constitutes protection and federal data on the amount of land covered.

"They [the federal government] can take action on conservation in the ocean," Woodley told CBC Radio's The Current, "On land, it's primarily the provinces and territories that have the responsibility."