EAC encourages broad public input during consultation period
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 10, 2020
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - Today, the province announced it will turn to the public for input on six new protected areas. If protected, the proposed sites would add an additional 8,000 hectares of new and expanded Provincial Parks, Wilderness Areas and Nature Reserves.
Raymond Plourde, Senior Wilderness Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre (EAC), says today’s announcement is a welcome step in the fight to combat climate change and biodiversity loss.
“These additional protected areas will help Nova Scotia do its part to combat biodiversity collapse,” Plourde says, “I feel confident the province will hear that Nova Scotians want continued progress on protected areas."
Plourde is pleased that additional areas, including Archibald Lake, are being considered as part of the consultations.
“St. Mary’s River has been at the top of our list of priority areas for protection,” Plourde says, “The addition of Archibald Lake would extend protection at St. Mary’s to include important rivers, lakes and old forest.”
The province has long promised to protect at least 13 per cent of land in Nova Scotia. The commitment was part of the 2013 Parks & Protected Areas Plan. The EAC has been pushing the province to uphold this plan for years. Once designated, the six proposed sites will bring total land protection in Nova Scotia to 12.75 per cent.
According to the UN report on global biodiversity, more than one million species are at risk of extinction in our lifetime, and the trends that have pushed them to the brink continue.
"Habitat loss is the number one driver of species loss. It’s important for Nova Scotians to encourage the province to do more to protect the living biosphere and our precious little piece of the planet,” Plourde says.
Public input is even more important considering recent changes to Owls Head. Owls head had been proposed for designation in the Parks and Protected Areas plan. It was recently removed from the plan and is at risk of development.
Plourde is encouraging all Nova Scotians to participate in the consultation period.
“Tell the province to secure these six new protected areas, and encourage them to move quickly to protect all of the remaining sites included in the Parks & Protected Areas Plan.”
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For more information please contact:
Senior Wilderness Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
Archibald Lake in Guysborough County, St. Mary’s District. Photo Credit: Nova Scotia Environment