Applauds Government for Major Milestone in Wilderness Conservation
For Immediate Release
December 29, 2015
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX), The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) is delighted to welcome a major milestone in Wilderness Conservation in Nova Scotia, years in the making. Today the Nova Scotia Government announced the legal designation of over 100 new protected Wilderness Areas and Nature Reserves across the province, totaling over 126,000 hectares of land as part of implementing the provincial Parks and Protected Areas Plan, released in 2013. The plan itself is part of an ongoing global effort to halt the worldwide decline of wild species under the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s 2014 Living Planet Report wildlife populations have declined by well over 50% in the last 50 years alone. Canada is a signatory to the international treaty to protect at least 17% of its land and 10% of its marine territory as critical natural habitat by 2020.
“What a terrific way to start the New Year and what a tremendous gift to present and future generations of Nova Scotians” says EAC’s Wilderness Coordinator Raymond Plourde. “With this announcement some of the most beautiful and ecologically important natural areas remaining in Nova Scotia will be legally protected from development and left forever wild. These include spectacular places like Rogues Roost in Halifax County, French River and Kluscap Mountain in Victoria County, Fourchu Coast in Richmond County, Devil’s Jaw in Hants County, South Panuke Lake in Lunenburg County, Roseway River in Shelburne County and important additions to the Margaree watershed in Inverness County and the Tobeatic in Queens, Digby and Annapolis County.”
These special, representative natural areas will provide areas for scientific study, critical habitat for our already highly-stressed native wildlife species as well as places for people to enjoy nature and low-impact recreation like hiking, canoeing, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing and hunting. Today’s announcement comes after many years of research, planning, consultation and legal work on the part of government and years of research, advocacy and engagement on the part of EAC and the Nova Scotia Public Lands Coalition.
“Premier Stephen MacNeil and Environment Minister Randy Delory are to be commended for their leadership and diligence in ensuring that Nova Scotia met its obligation under the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA) to ensure “at least 12 per cent of the total land mass of the Province is legally protected by 2015”. In so doing, they have re-established our province as a national conservation leader after having slipped to middle-of-the-pack in recent years” says Plourde. “We commend the government on achieving this significant milestone (12% land protection), which has its origins way back at the famous Rio Earth Summit of 1992. Important work has been done here today and we look forward to working further with government to fulfill the Parks and Protected Areas Plan commitment to reach up to 13.9% protection by 2020 and thus to continue to do our part in the global effort to save nature and reverse the worldwide decline in wildlife species.
See a map of the new protected areas here: http://novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas/pdf/Parks-and-Protected-Areas-Map-Index-New-Designations-Dec_2015.pdf
Read a table of the new protected areas here: http://novascotia.ca/parksandprotectedareas/pdf/Propertytable-Dec_2015.pdf
Read the government Announcement here: http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20151229002
For more information contact:
Raymond Plourde, Ecology Action Centre Wilderness Coordinator
e. firstname.lastname@example.org c. 902-478-5400