An amazing achievement for nature conservation in Nova Scotia
August 1, 2013
The Ecology Action Centre is enthusiastically applauding the provincial government’s new Parks and Protected Areas Plan which was announced earlier today at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. The plan outlines a large suite of new protected areas that together will bring the province to just over 13% land protection and sets the stage for up to an additional .9% to be protected over the next few years.
“Today is great day for wildlife and wild species” says EAC’s Wilderness Coordinator Raymond Plourde. “This is a monumental achievement for nature conservation in Nova Scotia. Preserving and protecting these critical wilderness areas will benefit wildlife and citizens of our province for many decades to come.”
In 1992 at the United Nations historic Rio Earth Summit, Canada and over 100 other nations around the world signed the global Convention on Biological Diversity which, among other things, commits each country to protect at least 12% of their land and water for biodiversity conservation in order to try to halt the worldwide decline of wild species. Since then Nova Scotia has been doing its part, making slow but steady progress. Today’s announcement takes the province from 9.2% protection to just over 13% and lays out the path for several more important areas to be protected by 2020. This is appropriate and necessary as the UN target was recently increased to 17% (Nagoya Japan, October 2010) with Canada, again, signing on to this updated goal. Nova Scotia now becomes second overall in Canada in terms of percentage of terrestrial ecosystems protected after British Columbia (just over 14%) and well ahead of our Maritime neighbours, New Brunswick (3%) and Prince Edward Island (2.5%).
“With this announcement, Nova Scotia vaults to the top of the list of provinces contributing to our national network of protected areas and in meeting our international commitments” says Plourde.” Today’s announcement will resonate across the country and around the world as Canada reports to the UN on our progress.”
“We commended the Nova Scotia government enthusiastically for their hard work and steadfast support for wilderness conservation” says Plourde. “Today Nova Scotia is a national leader.”
Protected Areas are off limits to industrial development but are open to the public for low-impact recreation and scientific studies. Activities which are allowed in protected Wilderness Areas include hiking, camping, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and berry picking.
“We encourage all Nova Scotian’s and visitors to our province to get out and see these special places” says Plourde. “Enjoy them but also treat them with respect. They are a living legacy that today’s generation is leaving to the generations that will follow us”.