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KFN Contributes to City of Kingston’s Decision to Sign Onto the Montreal Pledge

At the COP15 conference in Montreal in December 2022, 190 countries, including Canada, signed onto an agreement to work together to halt and reverse nature’s ongoing decline in biodiversity. To address this issue at a local level, the City of Montreal invited all cities across the world to declare their intention to contribute to this global initiative. The pledge sets out 15 tangible actions a city must commit to in their efforts to preserve natural ecosystems. In summary these actions include; a) conserving and restoring natural areas, b) effectively engaging Indigenous Peoples and communities in decision-making and knowledge sharing, c) embedding biodiversity into governing policies and frameworks, d) reducing waste, pollution and pesticides.

The KFN, along with Little Forests Kingston and other conservation groups have been working with city staff to encourage them to sign onto this pledge. These efforts have paid off. At the council meeting on March 19, a report produced by Paige Agnew (Commissioner, Growth & Development Services) and Julie Salter-Keane (Manager, Climate Leadership) recommended that the city sign onto the Montreal Pledge and to also track their progress on the Cities With Nature registry (https://citieswithnature.org).

This current City Council appears to be listening to concerns regarding climate change and loss of species diversity. By signing onto this pledge, it suggests to city residents that they recognize the need to move towards improving local policies that support environmentally sustainable practices. While tracking their progress on the Cities With Nature Action Platform lets the city showcase actions and share information with other cities, it is incumbent on city residents to monitor progress as well and to be vocal when the city does not act in the best interest of nature.