Manitoba Wildlands Campaign Office
Canadian Nature Federation
412-63 Albert Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 1G4
Phone : 204-944-9593 Fax: 204-947-3076 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Manitoba Protected Areas Grade Drops
Province Led the Country Last Year
May 18, 2001
The Manitoba Government today received a grade of C - for its efforts
during the last year to establish and maintain protected areas*. Issued
by the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF), this year's grade uses the same
standards and criteria as World Wildlife Fund Canada Endangered Spaces
Campaign. The grade assesses Manitoba's actions on government policy and
their commitments for creation of a network of protected areas representing
our province's natural regions.
Last spring the World Wildlife Fund Canada grade for Manitoba
was B, with new park reserves and other lands protected from development.
Last summer Manitoba led all other Canadian jurisdictions for total lands
protected during the ten-year Endangered Spaces Campaign (l990's). This
year Manitoba protected several small park reserves, each of which was
supported or nominated by a First Nation (see technical assessment criteria
In the Budget Address of April 2001, the Manitoba government
said it was a leader in protection of boreal forest lands and committed
to "setting aside boreal forest lands". Manitoba's forest natural
regions are significant for their lack of protected lands, as previous
Protected Areas grade assessments have noted. Exceptions include new park
reserves created in l999 and 2000.
CNF Wildlands Campaign Director for Manitoba, Gaile Whelan
Enns reported: "There are significant outstanding protected areas
decisions for our forest regions. These include the Lowlands national
park components, which have been waiting for interim protection since
l996. Decisions for protected areas have slowed, while development intentions
are speeding up in Manitoba's forest regions."
The Manitoba government has a new Action Plan for A Network
of Protected Areas, and has renewed protocols for consultations. There
are over 130 sites in the province under review for protected status.
Gaile Whelan Enns indicated: "The Manitoba government
is at risk of losing track of its conservation and environmental commitments.
Manitobans want to see protected areas established. They know that when
we protect the landscape, species habitat, ecological services, and the
future economy of our province are also protected. Manitobans understand
the need and the benefits."
"We need to see a concentrated protected areas effort
in the coming year. Park Reserves are waiting for permanent protection.
Priority areas under review and consultation cannot wait. Conservation
and protection of our natural heritage must come before significant new
development in the same landscapes."
* Technical assessment attached. Any late or further decisions will be
applied to the 2002 Protected Areas grade.
Gaile Whelan Enns, Manitoba Wildlands Campaign Coordinator