Why a Species at Risk Act?

Because Canadians Care...

The federal government enacted the Species at Risk Act in 2002. This helped to fulfill Canada's obligations under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. SARA also fulfilled some requirements of the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, signed with the provinces in 1996. All of these initiatives, however, were driven by consistently high levels of public concern for threatened and endangered species.

Polls at the time showed that:

  • 76% of Canadians felt that governments should do more to protect endangered species (Decima Research 1999)
  • 88%; of Canadians supported legislation to protect the habitat of endangered species (Decima Research 1999).
  • Over 90% of Canadians supported endangered species protection (Pollara 2001)

Pacific pond turtle (c) Pierre Fidenci