“Established in 1971, Canadian Environment Week celebrates national and provincial environmental accomplishments and serves as a reminder to all of us to conserve and protect nature.

“Alberta has made considerable progress toward protecting our natural resources.

“In cooperation with Indigenous communities and industry, Alberta’s government recently announced it is planning a massive expansion of protected forest in the Kitaskino Nuwenëné Wildland. The expansion will add more than 355,000 acres of land to the protected area in northeastern Alberta.

“Our science-informed conservation agenda has resulted in many accomplishments, such as the Watershed Resiliency Restoration Program to protect against flood and drought and restore wetlands, the Caribou Management Plan that includes tree planting to restore seismic lines, and conservation funding for groups like Cows and Fish that help protect headwaters along with livestock producers.

“Since 2018, more than $30 million has been invested in the Caribou Habitat Recovery Program administered by the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, and an additional $14 million has been invested in the monitoring and active management of caribou populations. This builds on the work being done by the federal and provincial government to protect an important species at risk.

“Alberta’s industry is a world leader in responsible resource development and has partnered with our government to find made-in-Alberta solutions that will lower emissions while still protecting jobs and producing the energy Canada and the world desperately needs. We have worked hard to bring industry regulation home to Alberta and have proven that home-grown approaches yield real, meaningful results in reducing emissions and protecting the environment.

“A key example of the results we have achieved to address the climate challenge is Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system. A $750-million TIER investment in fall of 2020 will support 8,700 jobs and cut an estimated 13 million tonnes of emissions by 2030 – the same as taking about four million cars off the road.

“Waste reduction is an important goal all Albertans share and during Environment Week, I’m pleased to share how Alberta’s government is supporting this important work. An extended producer responsibility approach to plastics, packaging, paper and household hazardous waste will help us better manage single-use plastics and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Albertans can continue to reduce waste by reusing materials, recycling items that cannot be reused and composting organic waste to keep it out of the landfills.

“These are only a few of our many successes in protecting Alberta’s air, land, wildlife and water. Just as 2021 marks the 50th year Canadian Environment Week has been celebrated, it also marks the 50th anniversary of the Ministry of Alberta Environment and Parks. Our government is committed to continued progress in sustaining and protecting the environment for generations to come.”