Secretary Jewell, Minister McKenna Continue Conversation on Shared Priorities During Canadian Visit

Ambassador Bruce Heyman, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna atop the Rideau Canal locks. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)

Republished from www.doi.gov

In the lead-up to the North American Leaders Summit this summer, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today made her first official visit to Canada and met with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, to continue the momentum from Prime Minister Trudeau’s March 10 visit to Washington, D.C. on shared national priorities.

In meetings with Minister McKenna and indigenous leaders, Secretary Jewell discussed potential strategies to address the impacts of climate change, conservation and wildlife management, investing in indigenous knowledge, and working together toward a sustainable, responsible energy future.

“Our two countries’ unique relationship is based on our shared history, common values, and a vast network of ties between our governments, businesses, civil society, and people that have formed the basis of one of the strongest economic and environmental alliances in the world,” Secretary Jewell said. “Because of the relationships Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet are forging with the United States, our countries will continue strong collaboration on actions to combat climate change, protect the environment, safely and responsibly develop energy resources and engage meaningfully with indigenous communities on both sides of the border.”

“Canada and the U.S. have a strong record of collaboration on matters of environmental importance, including the recent signing of the Paris Climate Accord,” Minister McKenna said. “We are committed to build upon the history of collaboration and increase our efforts to preserve and expand the system of protected areas on both sides of the border. Through the unwavering spirit of cooperation that defines this relationship, we can achieve our mutual goals for wildlife and protected areas.”

Secretary Jewell and Minister McKenna hold a press conference at the Canadian Museum of History. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
Secretary Jewell and Minister McKenna hold a press conference at the Canadian Museum of History. (Credit US Embassy Ottawa)
The United States and Canada are following a shared Arctic leadership model to embrace the opportunities and address the challenges of a changing Arctic, together with indigenous and Northern partnerships, reaffirmed in the March 10 statements. This model has four objectives: Conserving Arctic biodiversity through science-based decision making; incorporating indigenous science and traditional knowledge into decision-making; building a sustainable Arctic economy; and supporting strong Arctic communities. These goals complement the work of the Arctic Council, currently chaired by the United States, which focuses on improving economic conditions for Arctic communities, Arctic Ocean safety and stewardship, and mitigating impacts to climate change.

In their meetings today, Secretary Jewell and Minister McKenna reiterated a strong commitment to the goals of the U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy and Arctic Leadership signed earlier this year as part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Washington, D.C. The statement commits the two countries to significantly reduce methane emissions, adopt an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons, and reach agreement on a market-based mechanism to limit carbon emissions from international aviation.

Jewell and McKenna also recognized the important and long history of cooperation between the National Park Service and Parks Canada, and agreed to pursue opportunities to enhance park-to-park cooperation in transboundary areas, including invasive species management, natural resource conservation and development, shared recreation resources, joint visitor facilities and shared wildlife migration corridors.

They reaffirmed strong support for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) between the United States and Canada, which was signed 100 years ago, and committed to issuing a joint report this fall that will assess the accomplishments of the MBTA over the last 100 years and lay out a vision for international cooperation for the next century. This follows Jewell’s announcement last week of nearly $49 million in grants to protect waterfowl and other bird species in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Later this afternoon, Secretary Jewell will meet with indigenous leaders to discuss the commitment between the United States and Canada to share information intended to improve consultation with indigenous communities regarding protected area management in both countries. The Canadian government has collaborated extensively with indigenous peoples regarding the management of protected areas, and Jewell will hear more about their coordination on areas such as cultural interpretation, preservation of biological diversity and economic benefits to indigenous communities.

Media Contact:
Jessica Kershaw
interior_press@ios.doi.gov