Today, Manitoba Wildlands released an updated version of the protected areas audit for Manitoba, as a follow-up to the annual protected areas grade (released July 7, 2004). The protected areas audit was first issued in May 2003 and was conducted to verify a statement in the November 2002 Speech from the Throne: "Since 1999 close to a million hectares has been added to protected areas and parklands in Manitoba".
This November 2004 update to the protected areas audit reflects the current state of protected lands in Manitoba and includes decisions by government announced June 14, 2004.
No new land has been protected since spring 2004, when the Manitoba government made a renewed commitment to protected areas establishment. Expected activities in 2004 and 2005 that would confirm the government's commitment to protected areas establishment include: updating Manitoba's Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas; completion of the negotiations for the establishment of a new national park in Manitoba's Interlake; and action on the commitment by Manitoba Hydro to support protected areas establishment in the natural regions where hydro development is being planned.
The audit shows that the task of establishing protected areas that adequately represent Manitoba's landscapes and protect ecological integrity is far from complete. In fact, only roughly 1/3 of the lands needed to complete Manitoba's Network of Protected Areas are protected at this time. The audit is based on government information in the public domain, primarily in the form of regulations and databases associated with certain Manitoba Acts that specify land use and land protection.
In addition, the audit shows that the amount of protected land in Manitoba has actually decreased since September 1999, the year Manitoba's NDP government was elected.
View Manitoba Wildlands' November 2004 updated Protected Areas Audit (405KB PDF)
View the 2004 Protected Areas Grade
View Manitoba Wildlands June 2004 Protected Areas news item
Source: Manitoba Wildlands