In Canada, protected natural areas are established to protect natural heritage for all Canadians to experience, discover, learn about, and appreciate both now and in the future. Despite this goal, protected areas rarely contain complete, unaltered ecosystems, particularly in densely populated southern regions.

The ecological integrity of protected areas, and thus their ability to conserve biodiversity and natural capital, faces a number of challenges including invasive species, habitat fragmentation, downstream effects of air and water pollution, and global climate change, all of which contribute to degradation of protected area ecosystems.

Ecological restoration provides a way of slowing, halting or reversing ecosystem degradation. Through re-establishing healthy, natural ecosystems, restoration also provides opportunities for Canadians to develop a positive and long-lasting sense of personal connection with nature.