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Protected Areas Commitments - Manitoba

Original 1990 Manitoba government commitments to complete protected areas networks that represent landscapes in Manitoba's natural regions, have been reconfirmed by Manitoba's current government. Each government Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas, since 1993, contains specific goals and timelines for establishment of new protected areas. Many of these goals are not yet met. Currently Manitoba is also without an Action Plan. Manitoba's 1998 Memorandum of Understanding for First Nation Protected Areas was extended and confirmed by the current Manitoba government. Most new protected areas in Manitoba since 1998 were established based on the requirements of the First Nations MOU.

Actions to establish new protected areas in Manitoba increased in 2009 and 2010. For the 2011 Manitoba election Manitoba Wildlands again issued election surveys, including for protected areas, parks, and world heritage site.

downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands 2011 Election Survey: Protected Areas, Parks, & World Heritage Site
View 2011 Election Survey Responses

View Manitoba Wildlands 2007 election survey, protected areas section MWL owl
View Manitoba Summary of political parties' election 2007 platforms and releases regarding the environment, including protected areas and parks MWL owl

View Manitoba Conservation & Environment Policies/Commitments 1999-2007 (Protected areas commitments are a category, by year) MWL owl
View Manitoba government environment and lands and waters policy releases since 1999 MWL owl



Status Report: Protected Areas in Manitoba

In advance of Manitoba Wildlands' annual Protected Areas Grade and Audit - to be released fall 2007 - Manitoba Wildlands Director Gaile Whelan Enns has written a Status Report article for Manitoba Eco-Network's September/October 2007 issue of the EcoJournal.

In the 1990s, Manitoba led the way in Canada for its action to protect the largest proportion of its lands from development - 5.5 million ha protected by 2000. Today, according to Manitoba Wildlands' article in EcoJournal, the establishment of protected areas has slowed and protection standards - embedded in Manitoba public policy since 1990 through legislation, regulation, and national reporting - appear to be at risk.

View Manitoba Wildlands article in Volume 17, No. 4 of Manitoba Eco-Network's EcoJournal for September/October 2007 MWL owl

2005-2007 Protected Areas Commitments Listing

downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands' updated 2005-2007 listing of Manitoba Government Protected Areas Commitments MWL owl (PDF)
downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands' updated 2005-2007 listing of Manitoba Government Protected Areas Commitments - Full Sources MWL owl (PDF)

Protected Areas Commitments - Audit

Manitoba Wildlands also aims to analyze and comment on the validity, status and progress regarding these environmental commitments, declarations and policies from the Manitoba government Throne and Budget speeches and associated documentation. We will post analysis for the five categories (see above) as they are completed.

downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Analysis/Audit - Conservation & Environment Policies/Commitments, Manitoba Government 1999-2006 (PDF) Updated MWL owl

2006 Manitoba Throne Speech

The Manitoba government included a significant protected areas establishment commitment in the 2006 Throne Speech. Finance Minister Selinger indicated that Manitoba would establish at least one significant new protected area a year. Significant implies protected areas of significant size and ecological value. As of June 1, 2007 no new significant protected areas have been established. Protected lands requests from First Nations involved in the World Heritage Site are outstanding, and over 100 candidates designed by Manitoba Conservation, many within boreal forest regions, are still unprotected.

View Manitoba government 2006 Throne speech
downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands report: Manitoba Conservation & Environment Policies/Commitments 1999-2009 MWL owl (PDF) Updated November 2009

Election Commitments

Manitoba Wildlands provincial and federal election surveys in 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007 contain protected areas content, and other categories. Protected areas commitments in 1999 are posted in letter form.

View Manitoba Wildlands Federal & Provincial Election surveys and promises MWL owl



Critique: Government of Manitoba Green and Growing Policy and NDP Caucus Green Plan Policy

In the absence of an update to the Action Plan for Network of Protected Areas (no update since previous Plan was allowed to lapse at the end of 2003), Manitoba Wildlands has sought out other policy statements from the Government of Manitoba with respect to protected areas policies and commitments. We are providing commentary and critique of selected content found on the following two web pages:
  1. Government of Manitoba Policy: Green and Growing - Protecting Our Natural Areas (January 2006)
  2. New Democratic Party Caucus of Manitoba: Manitoba's Green Plan - Leading the Way in Protecting our Natural Areas (Site unavailable as of July 2007)
downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands Critique: Government of Manitoba Green and Growing Policy and NDP Caucus Green Plan Policy MWL owl(PDF)

World Heritage Site Protection

The Manitoba government publicly stated it support in early December 2004 for the Atikaki/Woodland Caribou/First Nations World Heritage Site World Heritage Site (WHS) nomination which includes both Ontario and Manitoba lands, on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. This support has been reiterated by the Conservation Minister and Premier over time. During the 2007 Manitoba election further commitments regarding the WHS nomination.

View Manitoba Wildlands 2007 election survey and results MWL owl
downloadDownload 2007 Manitoba NDP environment commitments (PDF)

Manitoba Wildlands is providing a listing of commitments to support this World Heritage Site made by the Manitoba government (PDF) Updated MWL owl

Find further information regarding the World Heritage Site nomination here

Manitoba Action Plan 2000 - 2003

Manitoba's NDP government renewed and extended the Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas in 2000. The Action Plan was based on the same goals and ecological methods, and same natural regions system used since 1993. The protected areas networks in Manitoba, especially in the forest regions remain incomplete. Over 100 Areas of Special Interest designed by Manitoba Conservation continue to be available for protected status. Many of these have been approved by Manitoba's mining sector, with many also nominated by First Nation communities. The definition and ecological assessment of a protected area in Manitoba continue to be in place and reflected in public policy. As of November 2009 Manitoba has not updated or replaced its Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas.

Manitoba Wildlands issues an annual technical assessment and grade regarding the Manitoba's government's actions to establish new protected areas.

Manitoba Wildlands also issues an annual protected areas audit that contains the regulatory and technical information for protected areas in the province.

Manitoba Wildlands tracks Manitoba government commitments for protected areas establishment, lands and water policy commitments, and more through the following two reports:
downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands report: Manitoba Conservation & Environment Policies/Commitments 1999-2009 MWL owl (PDF) Updated November 2009
downloadDownload Manitoba Wildlands Listing: Manitoba Government Lands and Waters Policy 1999 - August 2009 MWL owl (PDF) Updated October 2010

Manitoba Provincial Parks System Plan

A System Plan for Manitoba's Provincial Parks was created in 1998 under the authority of the Provincial Parks Act by Manitoba Conservation. The system plan establishes the boundaries, classifications and land use categories of every provincial park and park reserve in Manitoba. It also identifies provincial park and park reserve lands that contribute to Manitoba's network of protected areas.

Download the different chapters of this large document at this link:
View 1998 Manitoba Conservation A System Plan for Manitoba's Provincial Parks

Forest Regions Protection

Next Steps Cover During 2002, the provincial government renewed their protected areas commitments. See Next Steps: Priorities for Sustaining Manitoba's Forests, page 5. The policy document is posted by the Manitoba government, and referenced by the Conservation Minister in speeches over time.

View report, Next Steps: Priorities for Sustaining Manitoba's Forests

2002 Manitoba Budget Papers

On April 26, 2002 the Manitoba Minister of Finance released Manitoba Budget Papers which contain a map of areas under review for protected status, protected sites since 2000, and a renewed statement of intent.

View 2002 Manitoba Government Budget papers

"Manitoba is building a 'network' of protected areas based on scientific principles of ecological representation and integrity, to conserve ecosystems and help maintain the biodiversity found within the province. Much has been done, and much remains to do." (Page A40, Budget Papers 2002)

Manitoba 2002 Budget Cover
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Manitoba 2002 Budget Map
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Manitoba 2002 Budget Index
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Click here for a combined version of the Map and List of Protected Areas with text.

Manitoba Private Lands Protection

Protected Areas Commitments - Canada

Ecological Restoration in Canada's Protected Areas

Parks Canada Report coverParks Canada published Principles and Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Canada's Protected Natural Areas, 2008. These guidelines were produced so Canada's federal, provincial and territorial parks and protected areas agencies can deal with threats to these ecologically significant areas such as "incompatible land uses, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, air and water pollution and climate change impacts". They also want to ensure that stakeholders, policy makers and the people who visit these areas are engaged in the process.

The focus of the Principles and Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Canada's Protected Natural Areas is to restore natural heritage, native biodiversity and ecosystem function while keeping the human-environment connection. The goal of Ecological restoration is to "initiate, re-initiate or accelerate processes that will lead to the evolution of an ecosystem that is characteristic to a protected area's natural region". Parks Canada feels it is imperative that throughout this process agencies understand that humans must be part of the restoration process. Also, restoration must occur if future generations are to experience and appreciate these protected areas enough to continue the long term restoration.

The Principles and Guidelines also make sure that Aboriginal peoples are consulted as part of the process, and that their practices are incorporated into the planning and management of these protected areas.

The Principles and Guidelines were an initiative under the 2006 Parks Canada Strategic Direction and have the endorsement of the Parks Minister.

View 2008 Parks Canada, Principles and Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Canada's Protected Natural Areas
downloadDownload 2008 Parks Canada, Principles and Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Canada's Protected Natural Areas (11 MB PDF)
View September 11, 2007 Canadian Parks Council press release
Source: Parks Canada

Canada Wide Status Report 2000-2005

Canada Status Report cover The Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2000 - 2005 (released 2007) describes the current state (as of end of 2005) of terrestrial and marine protected areas across Canada. Governments and protected areas agencies conducted a "self assessment" regarding the status of protected areas design, planning, management and establishment across the country.

The report confirms that Canada and its provinces and territories (including Manitoba) recognize the IUCN (World Conservation Union) definition of a protected area:
an area of land and/or sea dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means

Specifically, Canadian government considers protected areas to be those classified as Category I - IV by the IUCN, where industrial activities such as mining, forestry, and hydro development are regarded as being incompatible with management objectives.

For Manitoba, which has not updated its Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas since it lapsed at the end of 2003, this report reaffirms the definition of a protected area and reiterates standards for activities permitted and prohibited within protected areas. The report text provided by Manitoba also acknowledges that pre-existing public policy regarding protected areas establishment continues to be in place in Manitoba.

Other findings from the report:
  • 9.9% of Canada's lands are protected (8.6% in existing protected areas and 1.3% in interim protected areas), a growth of approximately 19% since 2000
  • 0.5% of Canada's oceans are within marine protected areas
  • Manitoba ranks 9th relative to Canadian provinces and territories in terms of percentage of land protected from development (8.4%)
View report, Canadian Protected Areas Status Report 2000 - 2005
Visit Environment Canada webpage and download sections of the report
downloadDownload report map: Terrestrial Protected Areas Summary Manitoba page 48 (PDF)
downloadDownload report chart: Terrestrial Protected Areas Summary Manitoba page 47 (PDF)
Source: Government of Canada

Canadian Parks Council

The directors of Parks for each provincial or territorial jurisdiction in Canada, and Parks Canada make up the Canadian Parks Coucil, formerly known as Federal Provincial Park Council. They undertake joint research, exchange management or parks establishment information, and publish joint material.

The Manitoba section in Working Together: Parks and Protected Areas in Canada is provided below. It contains a summary of protected areas actions during the 1990s, and intended activity to complete Manitoba's network of protected areas. Contents were provided by Manitoba Conservation.

Visit the Canadian Parks Council web site

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Canadian Parks Council - Publications and Research

downloadDownload Working Together: Parks and Protected Areas In Canada (PDF 7MB)

Manitoba section of Working Together Document
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First Nations Protected Areas MOU

There are over sixty First Nation communities in Manitoba. They are organized in three Assemblies, and several tribal councils. First Nation communities in Manitoba are covered by treaties #1 to #5. Manitoba also has many Métis communities. Often these are located near a treaty community. In northern Manitoba many First Nation and Métis communities are accessible only by plane for the majority of the year, with winter roads (over the ice and snow) for 2 or 3 months each winter. Decisions regarding public lands and waters affect First Nation and Métis communities. Therefore, the obligation for meaningful consultations with First Nation and Métis communities in relation to treaty and constitutional rights is an essential part of decision making about Manitoba's lands and waters.

A memorandum of understanding regarding identification, establishment and management of protected areas in Manitoba by First Nation communities was signed in 1998. Manitoba Conservation is responsible for responding to First Nations communities regarding parks and protected areas. First Nations MOU. Manitoba's Conservation Minister has confirmed the principles and intent of the MOU, and the MOU is written into the terms of reference for the East Side Planning Initiative.

downloadDownload March 5, 1998 MOU between the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Natural Resources Working Group (DOC)

Manitoba Wildlands2002-2014