Manitoba Protected Areas Grade 2009
Technical Assessment CMarch 2009 - February 2010 The annual Manitoba protected areas grade is based on six World Wildlife Fund criteria, applied to Manitoba protected areas since 1992. Manitoba Wildlands releases the grade annually to assess protected areas actions. Penalty and bonus points highlight successes or failures. The grade is based on Government data, regulations, public policy, and commitments. The next grade/assessment will cover a period beginning March 2010.
C 1) Ecological Criteria to Design, Designate protected areas Manitoba Conservation is starting to return to designing and designating protected areas to ecologically represent Manitoba's natural regions. A technical methods report has not been available for eight consecutive years. Some new protected areas still fall short in adequately representing landscapes and natural regions, and will fail to provide sustainable habitat and range areas for species. Decisions to protect the minimum shows inadequate ecological understanding. Claims that small protected areas provide adequate habitat for ungulates are over stated.
D 2) Protected Areas Strategy - Action Plan should complete protected areas systems for each natural region. Manitoba's Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas expired years ago; a new Action Plan is still outstanding. Over 70 candidate sites are stuck in the system. Protected areas work plans not fulfilled are deleted from web pages. Regions north of Lake Winnipeg, the west side of Manitoba, and along Hudsons Bay, where species are at risk due to climate change, urgently need action.
C 3) Protected Areas System Completion ** This criteria is triple weighted to assess actual protected lands in each natural region, and is indicative of decisions needed to complete Manitoba's networks of protected areas. Manitoba's protected areas system saw an increase in protected lands for 2009. A 'C' grade means only one third of Manitoba's protected areas are in place. See Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 protected areas audit.
C 4) Rate of Progress in Protected Areas Designation One northern region's protected areas network was completed this year. Despite support for the east side World Heritage Site (WHS), no new action to protect these lands has been taken, while development decisions precede lands planning. Some forest regions have no protected lands at all, while development decisions continue. 2009 avoids net loss of protected lands reported in previous years.
F 5) Protection Standards Maintained or Extended Actions since 2008 Protected Areas Grade are listed on Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 Grade Map (PDF), and on this 2009 Actions Chart (PDF). This year showed an improvement in maintaining protection standards, though steps for crown mineral rights to be withdrawn need improvement. Several outstanding opportunities exist to protect existing designations.
D 6) Legislation/Policies for Private Protected Areas. A public registry of conservation easements and private protected lands was called for by WWF Canada in 1995, and still does not exist. Private conservation lands often lack withdrawal of crown mineral rights and are not protected. Information exchange about private protected lands is nonexistent. Recent MOUs are not public.
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 News release
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 news items: Protected Areas Audit and Protected Areas Grade
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 Protected Areas Audit
MAP 2009 Protected Areas - Manitoba (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 Protected Areas - Actions List (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Grade page
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas page
Manitoba Wildlands Manitoba World Heritage Site page