|The annual Manitoba protected areas grade is based on six World Wildlife Fund criteria, applied to Manitoba protected areas grades since the 1992. Representation of each natural region is based on the landscape types in protected areas, of sufficient size to maintain ecological integrity and sustain ecosystem functions. Manitoba Wildlands now applies the grading criteria annually to Manitoba government protected area commitments and actions. Penalties and bonuses highlight successes or problems. The grade is based on Manitoba data, regulations, and commitments.
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for further detail on the grade and criteria.
Download the Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas - Manitoba Chronology 1990-2010 (PDF) Updated March 2010
View the Protected Areas Grade page
Manitoba Wildlands has released its multi year audit of government steps to establish protected areas, based on public policy and commitments. Based on actions since January 1, 2013 the audit includes any crown land designation that is protected. These may be wildlife management areas, ecological reserves, provincial forest areas, park reserves, national parks or provincial parks.
The protected areas audit has been released since 2003 to track government actions, protection standards, regulations, and designations in Manitoba. Manitoba lead Canada in 2000 as the jurisdiction with the highest percent of its lands protected between 1990 and 2000.
There is a discrepancy between Manitoba government data for the protected lands that shows 12% versus Manitoba Wildlands' data at 9.9%. Regulations for protection from mining are missing for some designations as of December 31,2015.
In December 2015 the Manitoba government released an updated Protected Areas Strategy which confirms the protection standards as "Manitoba's protected areas prohibit logging, mining, oil and gas exploration and development, hydroelectric development, exploring for and harvesting peat, and other activities that significantly and adversely affect habitat. Existing rights of Indigenous people are respected in protected areas, which generally remain open to hunting, trapping, fishing, and other traditional uses."
To date Manitoba does not have a transparent system to confirm that lands are protected from oil and gas exploration and development.
The new Manitoba Protected Areas Strategy discusses a 17% goal for protected lands and waters in Manitoba. It is based on the UN Biodiversity Convention international target from 2000. The target is an aim to protected habitat and therefore biodiversity in linked, regional, science based protected areas networks, not isolated sites. These protected areas must be large enough to sustain habitat over time.
Staff work plans for protected areas establishment have lapsed in the last few years, and few new protected areas have been established. The Manitoba science based system to protect landforms and habitat in each natural region has been weakened, with multiple small protected areas established that fail to protect for future sustainability due to their size, or are not part of a network.
Commitments made in December 2009 for 6 new significant new protected areas have not been kept either. Protection from mining has not been consistently acted on.
"We have spent much of the winter identifying gaps in the regulatory system for protected areas, with the aim of urging government departments to complete the steps needed for protected areas already announced. Often it is the Mines Act regulation that is missing. As of April 13 some of these regulations are still outstanding. Included in the missing regulations are the First Nations traditional lands planning areas for the future World Heritage Site. The tracking chart shows NO in the column regarding protection from mining.
No public data is available to confirm protection for private lands. Manitoba Wildlands will resume including it in the audit when information becomes available. Where regulations or a clear survey could not be located those designations are not included. Several of the protected areas listed by the Manitoba government as new are in fact final regulatory steps on protected areas that have existed for up to 15 years.
Manitoba needs to return to its former rigor and professionalism regarding the scientific, consultative, and regulatory steps for protected areas establishment," indicated Gaile Whelan Enns, director of Manitoba Wildlands.
"Since 1993 Manitoba had consistently applied these protection standards, and the required regulatory steps for protected areas. Now, when climate change impacts on the boreal forest are speeding up, and the potential for eco tourism is growing, the public policy commitments, and the regulatory process are in disarray."
Tuesday April 19 is election day in Manitoba.
Manitoba Wildlands expects either a new PC government or a re-elected NDP government to make a priority of protecting our boreal forest regions, our waterways, and our grasslands - in fact every natural region in Manitoba needs attention. Government especially needs to renew the MOU between the Crown and Manitoba First Nations with respect to: nomination of lands to protect lands, and consultation regarding any protected area designation.
Manitobans expect nothing less, and are watching to see if their government will take the steps needed to protect Manitoba's natural regions for future generations.
Environmental policy and actions need to take their place beside social policy/actions and economic policy/actions to provide sustainability for Manitoba's future.
Manitoba Wildlands' 2015 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands' 2015 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Protected Areas Manitoba Map (South) - 2011 (PDF)
Download Protected Areas Manitoba Map (North) - 2011 (PDF)
The Manitoba Wildlands audit is based on government information in the public domain, primarily regulations and databases associated with Manitoba Acts that specify land use and land protection. See sources in legend. A 'protected area' refers to lands formally protected from development (hydroelectric, mining, forestry, roads, and any other activity that would cause significant alteration of habitat) through Manitoba regulations. The Manitoba Wildlands annual protected areas audit contains natural region location, which Act, where crown mining rights are withdrawn as the date of the annual audit.
2012Manitoba Wildlands has released its two year audit of Manitoba government protected lands and regulatory steps for 2011 and 2012. No new protected areas were established in that time period.
Manitoba currently protected 9% of its lands protected from industrial activity. The province led all jurisdictions in Canada as of 2000 for the proportion of its lands protected during the preceding decade.
Older parks in the province continue to have resource management/extraction zones. Steps to stop logging in Manitoba parks have resulted in the same zones being open for other new developments like mines, roads, and educational camps. Woodland caribou continue to be at risk in certain Manitoba parks. New protected parks do not have management plans, any infrastructure for wilderness tourism, or staff.
While Manitoba Conservation identifies revenue to upgrade existing recreational parks and recreation zones in parks, there are still huge gaps between protected areas establishment commitments and actions.
A promise from Premier Selinger in December 2009 to put a peatlands protection plan in place for Manitoba's northern regions is stalled while peat mines erupt in south and central Manitoba, during the province's two year moratorium on new peat mines.
There are still no clear options for protection of water under the Acts used to establish protected areas. Manitoba has a lot of catching up to do before the government can say it is fulfilling its protected areas commitments. Boreal regions and their species assemblages in are particularly at risk.
Recent promises to expand Whiteshell Park protected lands, and connect other protected areas in that region will be part of the next Protected Areas Audit. Assessment will be based on action, surveys, regulations, and full steps for protected lands status.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2012 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2012 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
View March 8, 2013 Manitoba Government News Release Camp Morton, Whiteshell Provincial Parks to Expand
View March 8, 2013 Manitoba Government news release Province Announces New Parks Strategy to Grow, Modernize Provincial Parks
View March 9, 2013 Winnipeg Free Press article Expansions, protections announced
View March 9, 2013 Winnipeg Free Press article Province to perk up its parks
View March 8, 2013 Winnipeg Free Press article Park users and cottagers to pay higher fees
2010During 2010 the Manitoba government established two new protected areas in the north west corner of the province. It is not clear whether or how consultations and technical studies resulted in the boundaries used. Forested boreal regions continue to lack significant large protected areas.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2010 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2010 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
2009For the first time in three years Manitoba did not experience a net loss in protected lands and waters during 2009. New protected areas, and the regulations for these are reflected in the statistics for the Protected Areas Audit.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
2008Manitoba failed to establish any new protected areas in 2008. In fact, 2008 represents the second consecutive year Manitoba actually failed to establish any protected lands in parks, ecological reserves, or other designations.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Protected Areas Audit/Grade - Map (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Protected Areas Audit - Actions List (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Protected Areas Audit - Chart (PDF)
2007In the fall 2007 Manitoba protected areas audit, certain regulations and survey maps were not accessible at time of posting.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2007 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2007 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2007 Protected Areas Audit - Maps (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2007 Protected Areas Audit - Chart (PDF)
Download Manitoba Protected Areas Commitments 2005-2007 (PDF)
Download Manitoba Protected Areas Commitments 2005-2007 - Full Sources (PDF)
2006The fall 2006 Manitoba protected areas audit contains a map showing protected area establishment by year. A second map shows action over the last year.
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2006 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2006 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2006 Protected Areas Audit - Maps (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2006 Protected Areas Audit - Chart (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2005 Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2005 Protected Areas Audit - Summary (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2005 Protected Areas Audit - Maps (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' 2005 Protected Areas Audit - Chart (PDF)
Download Manitoba Wildlands' November 2004 updated Protected Areas Audit (PDF)
View November 2004 Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Audit news item
To receive the 2004 Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Statistics Summary, please contact us at: webmaster @ manitobawildlands.org
2003The May 2003 Manitoba Wildlands protected areas audit was conducted to verify a statement in the November 2002 Manitoba Speech from the Throne: "Since 1999 close to a million hectares has been added to protected areas and parklands in Manitoba". Starting with data which Manitoba, Statistics Canada, and other government sources confirm, the Manitoba Protected Areas audit details protected areas actions since spring 1999.
View May 2003 Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Audit news item
2000The June 2000 Manitoba protected areas audit was conducted at the end of the WWF Canada Endangered Spaces Campaign. As of June 2000, Manitoba lead all Canadian jurisdictions in the amount of lands protected from development during the WWF Canada campaign.
To view Manitoba Wildlands news items for previous protected areas audits go to the News Archives Search and search protected areas news items by year.